South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) faced a large, mostly hostile auditorium full of voters at a town hall meeting on Saturday, and things got of hand quickly.
Some in the crowd, which NBC News reports was mostly composed of Democratic Party voters, carried anti-Republican signs, and many shouted throughout Graham’s speech and replies to audience questions.
Among the many topics addressed by Graham at the meeting, which lasted about two hours, were the federal budget, Supreme Court, health care reform and the investigation of President Donald Trump’s connections to Russia.
“All of you want Trump to be denied what comes with being president—not all of you, but some of you—and you want to overturn the election,” Graham said.
“I think that’s a bunch of garbage when it comes to me,” Graham said to one audience member’s suggestion Graham has helped to obstruct a fair investigation of Trump’s alleged connections to Russian operatives. “I don’t think I’ve obstructed anything. I think I’ve been more than on the case when it comes to Russia. I think I have stood up for the idea that I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and watch the Russians try to undermine our democracy.”
One particularly contentious moment came when Graham praised Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Crowd members yelled and booed after Graham endorsed Gorsuch.
“I don’t believe that the Constitution was written so that you get everything you want and I get nothing,” Graham said after the crowd booed his Gorsuch comments. “That’s not the way the Constitution was written.”
[graphiq id="dofeK09FGfj" title="Poll: Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to SCOTUS" width="600" height="634" url="https://w.graphiq.com/w/dofeK09FGfj"]
NPR reports that toward the end of the event, the angry crowd chanted, “Your last term!”
“You know what I’m afraid of?” Graham said in response. “Of losing this country. I’m afraid of this country falling apart because people can’t listen to each other, and they just yell.”
Graham is expected to run for another term in the Senate when his current term expires in 2020.