One of Lindsey Graham’s biggest backers explains why he gave up on the GOP senator
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina speaking at the Iowa Republican Party's 2015 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

In an op-ed published in the Greenville News this Sunday, a former backer of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explained why he no longer supports Graham and has instead endorsed his opponent for the U.S. Senate.


"I supported Lindsey Graham until 2017," ex-Michelin North America chairman Richard Wilkerson writes. "I saw him as a moderate Republican who could work across the aisle to get positive change made. But I started having real misgivings about him when he failed to mount any significant defense when Donald Trump attacked his best friend, the late Sen. John McCain."

“What is the character of a man who will not defend his best friend? If he won’t defend John McCain, why would I expect him to defend any of us in South Carolina?” Wilkerson asked himself.  The only conclusion he could come to was that Graham was more interested in "currying favor than in honoring the memory of a true American hero whom he had described as his best friend."

When it comes to the hyper-political divide between Republicans and Democrats, "Graham was a leader of this divisiveness," Wilkerson contends.

"Graham used to be criticized by more conservative people in the Republican Party for being a RINO (Republican in Name Only)," Wilkerson continued. "They felt that his moderate stance on issues until 2017 was inappropriate. He is no longer that person, and that is why I decided two years ago to end my support. I wrote to him and let him know that I no longer recognized him as the man I once supported."

Read his full op-ed over at the Greenville News.