Sen. Lindsey Graham is under fire from a religious advocacy group that once hailed his work on climate change but now is running ads on cable TV in the Washington market that question his reversal.
The American Values Network started airing commercials Wednesday on MSNBC, CNN and Fox that contrast the South Carolina Republican’s past remarks in support of a major global warming bill with news headlines announcing that he no longer supports the legislation.
“Now he’s backing what he himself called a ‘half-assed energy bill,’” a narrator says in the ads, citing perhaps Graham’s most widely quoted statement from earlier this year, in which he challenged the push by moderate Democrats to focus on energy legislation and skirt a vote on limits for greenhouse gases.
Eric Sapp, executive director of the American Values Network, said his organization made the “six-figure” ad buy to highlight Graham’s steady retreat over the past two months from closed-door talks with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).
“He’s now using the same talking points he so effectively dismissed a few months ago, in an attempt to kill momentum on this bill,” said Sapp, a former aide to Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) who worked on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “With Sen. Graham now abandoning bipartisanship for precisely the type of energy bill he previously dismissed as ‘half-assed,’ it’s hard to understand how he maintains any credibility on what is doable on energy policy in this Congress.”