Graham is up for re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. offered Sen. Lindsey Graham his support for re-election — including a pledge to “rip your skin off for you” if it helps the South Carolina Republican’s 2014 prospects.
“I told him I’ll come to South Carolina and campaign for him or against him, whichever will help the most — I know which it’ll be,” Biden said at an April 26 forum hosted by The McCain Institute for International Leadership. “I’m going down there to to the JJ next weekend, Lindsey, and I assure you I will rip your skin off for you, and I expect a thank-you note.”
The offhand comment points to the possibility that Graham could face a 2014 primary challenge. He’s a target of conservative Republicans for several reasons, including his work on the Senate’s bipartisan “gang of eight” immigration bill and his foreign policy views.
Biden is scheduled to be the featured speaker at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s May 3 Jefferson-Jackson dinner at the convention center in Columbia.
Graham — one of the “amigos” of the institute’s namesake, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — was among the dignitaries in attendance at the event in Sedona, Ariz., where McCain and Biden held court for about an hour. Biden made some other unexpected news when he said he personally supports releasing more information from a classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on acts of torture committed on behalf of the United States.
The McCain Institute has video of the entire discussion: