Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) isn’t a presidential candidate yet. But a primary vote for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) may just as well be a vote for Graham, as the two see eye-to-eye on many of the issues central to 2016 voters.
The two Republican Senators have the same voting record on three top issues: Foreign Policy, Immigration and Trade Policy.
Graham and Rubio have both been recognized for their hawkish approach to foreign policy regarding the War on Terror and the Middle East.
As Politico puts it, “At the heart of Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign rollout has been the message that, on foreign policy, he is the toughest hawk in the Republican primary field. He calls for more Pentagon spending, vows to hunt and kill terrorists, and trashes President Obama for setting red lines he doesn’t observe.”
The Charleston City Paper similarly described Graham saying he “has never been one to hide his war-hawk feathers.”
On the issue of immigration, Graham and Rubio co-authored the failed “Gang of Eight” bill that aimed to provide a pathway to citizenship for people who’d entered America illegally.
“Graham tackled the issue head-on in his 2014 reelection campaign—refusing to back down from debates about “amnesty” while challenging his opponents to produce a more realistic approach—and was rewarded with a resounding primary victory,” reported the National Journal.
Mark Krikorian, Executive Director for the Center for Immigration Studies previously slammed the bill to Breitbart News.
“The Schumer-Rubio bill was a disaster – any attempt to pack so many different things into one piece of legislation is a mistake, regardless of the topic. And the substance was bad in any case – immediate legalization in exchange for promises of future enforcement is a recipe for repeating the 1986 debacle, where the amnesty happened and the enforcement promises were abandoned,” said Krikorian.
The most recent example of Rubio and Graham’s similar voting record is on trade policy, with both supporting the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – which gave President Obama fast-track authority over trade negotiations, removing Congress from issuing any amendments, simply getting an up or down vote on trade deals.
As the National Journal reports, Rubio has studied Graham’s 2014 campaign in South Carolina to ensure he steals the state from other GOP candidates.
Dr. Whit Ayers – one of Rubio’s top political consultants – also worked with Graham in the past.
As the Wall Street Journal reported in 2014, “Mr. Ayres also recently served as the pollster for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), who won 56% of the primary vote against six GOP challengers.”