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Ticket Replay: Angry tea partyers return to brand Lindsey Graham 'traitor' for believing climate change

December 28, 2009 |  7:14 am

As the holidays unfold, The Ticket's thoughts turn to a little undeserved time off. So we're re-publishing some of our favorite or most-read items from 2009. This item originally appeared on Oct. 14.

Those angry town hall meetings are back.

Last night, at a forum at Furman University, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was pilloried by protesters for his decision to back Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and for his support for climate change legislation.

During the 75-minute event, one man told Graham he had “betrayed” conservatism and made a “pact with the devil” by working with Democrats, and asked when the senator planned to change parties.

This is Lindsey Graham we're talking about, best friend and constant companion of the Republican Party's 2008 standard-bearer, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The troubles all started Sunday, when Graham co-wrote an Op-Ed article with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry in the New York Times called "Yes We Can (Pass Climate Change Legislation)," which talked about their campaign to corral bipartisan support for climate change legislation.

As Graham has said elsewhere, "I think the planet is heating up. I think CO2 emissions are damaging the environment and this dependence on foreign oil is a natural disaster in the making."

Maybe what really ticked off the conservatives was when Graham argued that the problem should be addressed as soon as possible -- even if the solution helps the Democrats politically. "I'd like to solve a problem, and if it's on President Obama's watch, it doesn't bother me one bit, if it makes the country better off."

Easily reelected in 2008, Graham has a few years to recover his base.

-- Johanna Neuman

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