FILE - In this June 3, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks in Manchester, N.H. It’s time for Republican presidential contenders to “Roast and Ride,” a new twist in Iowa’s down-home presidential politicking. A weekend gathering by freshman Sen. Joni Ernst features a pig roast, speeches from seven 2016 hopefuls and a motorcycle ride that promises to get at least a few of them on wheels. It’s a prime political event for Republicans in a state known for a straw poll that is declining in relevance and for an annual steak fry for Democrats that had its last hurrah last year. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File) (AP)

Lindsey Graham's disaster relief hypocrisy: He wants federal aid for his state's floods but voted against Hurricane Sandy relief

"I don't really remember me voting that way," Graham now says of his vote against aid for his Northern neighbors


Sophia Tesfaye
October 6, 2015 6:17PM (UTC)

We just knew that after all those red state Republicans voted against federal aid in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2013 (months after the 2012 storm), their greed would come back to haunt them, because nature doesn't observe borders.

Republican presidential candidate and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is this week's GOP hypocrite, calling for an unlimited amount of federal resources to aid his flood stricken home state while denying any recollection of his 2013 NO vote on federal relief for areas affected by Sandy.

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"Let's just get through this thing, and whatever it costs, it costs," Graham told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" on Monday.

Republicans complained that the $50 billion federal bill for Sandy relief was overloaded with unrelated "pork." Graham voted against that bill, which was eventually signed by President Obama. Graham also voted against a much smaller $9 billion relief package.

But I guess now that so-called "biblical level" rainfall, the sixth to hit the U.S. since 2010, has devastated parts of South Carolina, the long-shot presidential aspirant has changed his tune.

Graham told Blitzer on Monday that he tries "to be there for friends and neighbors, so hope they’ll be there for us."

But when asked by Blitzer about his earlier attempts to block federal funding for New Jersey in 2013, Graham feigned ignorance: "I'm all for helping the people in New Jersey. I don't really remember me voting that way. Anyway, I don't really recall that, but I'd be glad to look and tell you why I did vote no, if I did."

But as ThinkProgress noted at the time of Graham's vote against relief for Sandy victims, the South Carolina Republican had already been a long time hypocrite on the issue of federal aid for states that aren't his home, having already "requested disaster relief after freezing and boasted of obtaining emergency drought relief."

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Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Federal Aid Gop Hypocrisy Sen. Lindsey Graham South Carolina Storm Relief Superstorm Sandy

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