A prominent Republican senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, visited Bozeman on Wednesday afternoon to support Senate candidate Matt Rosendale.
Graham’s visit was originally supposed to be a small event of no more than a few dozen supporters, but was moved to a larger venue after an overwhelming response. Speakers like Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and Senate candidate Matt Rosendale led the rally at the Best Western Plus Gran Tree Inn in Bozeman.
Graham is yet another leading Republican urging Montana voters to elect Rosendale. The Commander in Chief, President Donald Trump himself, will be making his fourth visit to the Treasure State to support Rosendale on Saturday. Vice President Mike Pence will follow shortly after with a visit (his third in a matter of months) to the Flathead on Monday.
Graham said he met Rosendale only an hour before the event, but was campaigning for the current State Auditor so that Republicans could uphold a majority in the Senate this November.
“Matt gets what we’re trying to do together,” Graham told supporters, “and we need him.”
The South Carolina senator also called the animosity between Republicans and Democrats a “war of ideas,” saying Democratic senators “have no rules,” while their Republican counterparts are “trying to play by the rules.”
The Montana U.S. Senate race is one of the tightest in the nation, pulling in senators from across the country to campaign for someone they – like Graham with Rosendale – had never met before.
Large portions of Graham’s 22 minute speech focused on the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings for then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“It pissed me off. As much as I’ve ever been mad in my entire life,” Graham said of the nomination process.
Both Senators Graham and Daines brought up the combative confirmation process, which pitted the right and the left against one another over allegations that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted a former classmate, as a reason for Republicans to stay in the majority in the Senate.
Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 50-48.
Graham later reiterated to a press circle that the Kavanaugh hearings were the lowest point of his 26 years in government.
“If this is the new normal, who in their right mind wants to be a judge?” the former lawyer asked. “Only way this stops is for people to speak up at the ballot box.”
The midterm elections will take place this Tuesday, November 6. Rosendale is running against incumbent senator, Democrat Jon Tester.