Rachel Maddow Hits Lindsey Graham For Listing African American Population Among Problems Facing South Carolina

Rachel Maddow slams Lindsey Graham for this--Sen. Graham Lists African American Population Among Problems Facing South Carolina: Today on the Senat

Rachel Maddow slams Lindsey Graham for this--Sen. Graham Lists African American Population Among Problems Facing South Carolina:

Today on the Senate floor, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) criticized the extra Medicaid funding for Nebraska in the health care bill by noting that his home state is also facing problems. In addition to high unemployment, Graham inexplicably mentioned that South Carolina has a "31 percent African American population."

Transcript via Lexis Nexis.

MADDOW: And South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is a Republican which means in 2009 that he does not support health reform. In his case, he really, really does not support health reform.

While arguing against the bill that is all but certain to pass the Senate this Thursday at 8:00 a.m., Sen. Graham made an argument that I think was supposed to be about health reform. But it was one that quickly became more illustrative about him than it was about any policy issue whatsoever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Throughout the nation, there are going to be thousands of more people enrolled in Medicaid. And every state, except one, is going to have to come up with matching money.

I have 12 percent unemployment in South Carolina. My state is on its knees. I have 31 percent African-American population in South Carolina.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: See, we`ve got it tough. We`re on our knees. Twelve percent of our people are unemployed and 31 percent of our people are black. Why is that a - go on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: In my state, with 30 percent African-American citizens, a lot of low-income people in South Carolina, is going to cost my state $1 billion. That`s the same old stuff that I object to. That`s not change we can believe in. That`s sleazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: The argument here appears to be that Sen. Graham believes it is sleazy to expect a state with lots of black people in it to have health reform. Because you know, black people. Maybe he meant something other than what it seemed like he meant with those remarks.

But it should be noted he did use the same, utterly inexplicable argument twice - once on the Senate floor and then, because it worked so well, once on "The Today Show," both when asked about health reform.

We contacted Sen. Graham`s office today for an explanation. We`ll let you know when and if we hear back.

Don't hold your breath Rachel. Goober Graham is about as likely to come on your program as one of the Cheney father daughter tag team.

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