Lindsey Graham, one of Donald Trump’s most ardent sycophants, broke with him over NASCAR’s banning of Confederate flags and a demand for driver Bubba Wallace to apologize.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Monday pushed back on President Trump's tweet suggesting NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace should apologize after the FBI determined last month that he was not a target of a hate crime when a noose was found in his garage stall before a race.
Axios also notes that Wallace neither found nor reported the noose.
But that didn’t stop the Race Baiter in Chief from tweeting this bit of hate:
Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
Apparently, condemning the falsehood and race baiting was too much for Graham and “working on his nine on the Trump approval scale” Kilmeade. In fact, much of the rest of the interview was devoted to bashing other African Americans, including Colin Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter. And while clearly Trump is in no danger of losing Graham’s sycophancy – yet – it also shows that Trump is on the wrong side of public sentiment here.
It was telling that Graham deliberately changed the subject to NASCAR and Wallace in order to rebuke Trump. It happened after Kilmeade “asked” if it was a good move for the NBA “to have Black Lives Matter on the court.”
KILMEADE: So, the NBA is coming back and they're going to have Black Lives Matter on the court. And you're allowed to put phrases or stand up for a cause on your shirt. ... So, do you think this is a good move?
GRAHAM: Well, I think it's the NBA's decisions to make. And we'll see what the market place says. The market place will react to this, but one thing you won't find on anybody's shirt is to free Hong Kong. … A lot of this is market driven.
I just want to make one comment about NASCAR. I grew up in South Carolina, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is in Darlington. I've been going to car races as a kid when my -- my dad, my uncle from the time I was old enough to see over the dashboard. NASCAR made a decision to ban the Confederate flag inside the infield and at NASCAR arenas. They're trying to grow the sport and I've lived in South Carolina all my life and if you're in business the Confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business.
The idea that Bubba Wallace, who is the only, I think, African-American driver, was upset by somebody finding a noose in the garage made perfect sense to me. So, what I would tell people from outside of South Carolina, that NASCAR is trying to grow the sport and one way you grow the sport is you take images that divide us and ask that they not be brought into the venue. That makes sense to me.
KILMEADE: So, the president tweeted this out: “Has Bubba Wallace apologized for all those great -- to all those great NASCAR drivers and officials who came to his aid, stood by his side and were willing to sacrifice everything for him only to find out that the whole thing was just another hoax? That and flag decision, which has caused lowest ratings ever.”
GRAHAM: Well, I don't think Bubba Wallace has anything to apologize for. I do say this about the drivers, even though it was a noose created to hold a door open, in the times in which we live, there's a lot of anxiety.
So, what did you see, you saw the best in NASCAR when there was a chance that it was a threat against Bubba Wallace, they all rallied to Bubba's side. So, I would be looking to celebrate that kind of attitude more than being worried about it being a hoax.
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Graham is facing the toughest re-election of his career.
You can listen to Graham make a point of distancing himself from Trump below, from Fox News Radio’s July 6, 2020 Brian Kilmeade Show.