Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has some tough words for the Tea Party movement in a new profile in the New York Times: You have no vision, and you’ll die out.
“The problem with the Tea Party, I think it’s just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out,” said Graham, who has come under fire from the right for being excessively moderate and compromising with Democrats.
Graham also said he challenged a group of Tea Partiers in a meeting: “‘What do you want to do? You take back your country — and do what with it?’…Everybody went from being kind of hostile to just dead silent.”
“We don’t have a lot of Reagan-type leaders in our party. Remember Ronald Reagan Democrats? I want a Republican that can attract Democrats,” Graham also said, adding: “Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”
Graham better hope the Tea Party movement dies out in time for 2014, the next time he is up for re-election. A Public Policy Polling (D) survey from May found that among South Carolina Republican primary voters, only 40% approved of Graham, with 45% disapproving. And when asked whether they would support Graham or a conservative primary challenger, 57% would go for the challenger to only 32% for Graham.
If the Tea Partiers are still around in 2014, they’ll remember these new quotes.