Lindsey Graham says he can’t remember why he voted against Hurricane Sandy relief

When Hurricane Sandy blew through the East Coast in late 2012, every member of South Carolina’s congressional delegation except one — Jim Clyburn — voted to withhold relief funds. That includes both of the state’s senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott.

Now, with South Carolina facing widespread flooding and wind damage from Hurricane Joaquin, Lindsey Graham would like some federal aid, please.

From CNN:

Lindsey Graham, screenshot via YouTube

Lindsey Graham, screenshot via YouTube

“Let’s just get through this thing, and whatever it costs, it costs,” Graham told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” on Monday of the devastating floods in his home state.

Graham was among the Republican senators who opposed a federal aid package in January 2013 to assist states hit by Hurricane Sandy, but now he doesn’t remember why.

“I’m all for helping the people in New Jersey. I don’t really remember me voting that way,” Graham said.

Pressed further, he said: “Anyway, I don’t really recall that, but I’d be glad to look and tell you why I did vote no, if I did.”

Well, I don’t really remember a time when the “I don’t really remember” defense held any water. Especially when Lindsey Graham could have whipped out his phone during the interview and looked up how he voted on Sandy Relief funds in a matter of seconds. If he’s not sure how the Internet works, here’s how you do it:

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While I wasn’t able to find Graham’s specific statement on why he opposed Sandy funds in 2013, CNN notes that “Many Republicans opposed the $51 billion Sandy relief package in 2013 because they said it included too much spending on unrelated programs,” which if Graham really believes, he’s more than welcome to say. A slightly more likely reason is that Hurricane Sandy hit in a state that wasn’t his a week before a presidential election at a time when being pro-anything as a Republican guarantees a primary challenge.

In any case, an answer to the effect of “I’m for it now, and if I was against it then, well, whatever” is not a good look. It’s literally the opposite of a secret that he opposed aid to New Jersey while fighting for aid to his state, so if he wants to be anything other than the bad guy in this story, he’d better have a damn good reason why that’s the case. Claiming that he doesn’t remember his vote, and that he’s “all for” helping New Jersey now that no money is actually on the line, because he, “[tries] to be there for friends and neighbors, so [I] hope they’ll be there for us,” is only one step removed from claiming that he cast his no vote by accident.

Boo this man:

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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