“The President of the United States was out of pocket because he has the coronavirus,” Harrison responded to questions from the moderators. “Senator Graham said people want special treatment. Nobody is asking for special treatment. We ask our Senator to take this seriously.”
Graham actually accused Harrison of seeking special treatment by demanding that all participants take a negative test for the virus before the debate. The Republican Senator argued that most South Carolinians go to work and interact with people who have not been tested, and so does himself said his doctor told him he would follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines even if he didn’t take a test.
“For those of you who are making a living, you can’t do what Mr. Harrison asked tonight. You can’t show up for work because you want everyone to be tested, whether they have to or not,” said Graham. “This is not about testing. This is about political accountability and the big loss tonight was a debate.”
The bizarre circumstances for their second possible debate reflected the battle over the second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. After the Debate Commission captured and virtually connected the meeting between Trump, who was hospitalized earlier this week with the virus, and Biden with the candidates in various locations, Trump withdrew from the debate, leading to his cancellation on Friday .
The Graham Harrison Debate Forum held at a television studio in Spartanburg, S.C., and broadcast on local channels in markets in most of the states – was just the latest in a chaotic race that broke the records for fundraising and became one of the most closely watched and competitive competitions in the country. Harrison, a past leader of the Democratic State Party, outpaced and outdone Graham by a huge margin, and the race was very competitive despite the state’s red lean.
Graham, up for a fourth term in the Senate, has set himself the goal of polarizing the race along the party lines and using red meat issues to regain his natural advantage in the state. In particular, he highlighted his place as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the upcoming hearing to confirm the judge Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment too the Highest Dish. He said the hearings will begin next Week, would surely be held, but would go forward. He said the Capitol architect and family doctor had consulted about the set up of the listening room and that the hearings would be “medically compliant”.
He also brushed aside accusations that it would be hypocritical to push a nomination in an election year after the Republicans blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination in court four years ago.
“We’re moving forward. We’re not doing anything unusual here about the way the Senate works,” said Graham, even after the moderators played a clip of him saying he would not postpone a nomination in an election year.
Harrison said Barrett was qualified to confirm the appeal Court she currently serves but that he would have questions for her before determining if she qualifies for the Supreme Court. He said these questions will hopefully be answered in the upcoming hearings.
“But we shouldn’t even be talking about confirmation hearings now, if we were to listen to Lindsey Graham and follow his word,” said Harrison.
The third and final Harrison and Graham debate is currently scheduled for October 21st.