tv Campaign 2020 South Carolina U.S. Senate Debate CSPAN October 10, 2020 10:09pm-11:04pm EDT
political report, with democrats needing to pick up four seats to gain a majority. one of those competitive races is in south carolina. for the second debate between republican lindsey graham and democratic challenger jamie harrison, the format was changed due to a disagreement between the candidates overtaking covid-19 tests. here, they participate in two separate 30 minute forums rather than a face-to-face debate. posted by the nextar media group and the south carolina chamber of commerce, this is just under an hour. >> >> incumbent lindsey graham and challenger jamie harrison. tonight, a live discussion on the issues important to you. the pandemic, the economy, education, from your local election headquarters, the south
carolina chamber of commerce and next tar media, the u.s. senate race, south carolina. a live candidate conversation. media -- nextstar media we are coming to you live from spartanburg, south carolina. and tonight's conversation will be live streamed and will be livestreamed and broadcast across the carolinas, as well as on our partner station, in columbia. many of you tuned in this evening to watch the candidates for u.s. senate in their second debate. both campaigns agree to the four net of that debate. but this week, campaign staffer jamie harrison asked that the incumbent senator be tested for covid. the senator was tested last friday. in a statement released yesterday afternoon, the harrison campaign wrote, i cannot responsibly debate in person tomorrow night and allow
politics to put my family, my campaign staff, and members of the media at unnecessary risk. the graham campaign responded, mr. harrison is demanding special treatment. if mr. harrison is not able to interact with south carolinians on the same terms they live their lives, he should not be there senator. because of this impasse, we have changed the format of the form tonight. at the bottom of the hour, lindsey graham will face the same panel with equal time directly following mr. harrison's interview. we have taken steps to provide a safe environment here tonight. this environment has been sanitized and the candidates and our panel are separated at a safe distance. let's meet our panel. anchor carolyn murray and anchor gordon dale. gordon will ask her first question. gordon: amy, thank you. mr. harrison, i want to talk
about the covid production data for cautions. last week you brought your own plexiglas shield with the. if you are insisting the person that you are debating have a test, what is the purpose of a -- the plexiglas, is that a prop? no, it's being safe. right now, senator graham was in a room with two people who have tested positive for the coronavirus. two senators who are now quarantined at home. we have to take this thing seriously. the president of the united states has been out of pocket because he has the coronavirus. when you take a look at this, senator graham said that folks want special treatment. nobody is asking for special treatment. we are asking for a senior senator to take this seriously. he has gone to offense and he hasn't worn a mask. he sat on the white house lawn with 1000 people, mask less. what i'm saying is, as someone
who has a pre-existing condition, i don't know the conditions of all of you and your staff. we need our leaders to actually lead by example. take a look at this. after the president announced that he has the coronavirus, we've had several debates across this country since then. vice president pence took a coronavirus test. senator cornyn just today took a coronavirus test. suzanne collins took a coronavirus test. they are being responsible because they were in meetings in which folks have had the coronavirus. i don't understand why senator graham is asking for special treatment. let's keep people safe. it's a five-minute test. you go in, you get a swab, it's less than 30 minutes and you get an answer. gordon:gordon: but mr. harrison, you are asking to represent millions of south carolinians. you don't know their condition either. 150,000 of them with confirmed
cases of covid. will you not meet with them? ms. harrison: listen, this is the difference. senator graham and i are vying to be leaders in the state. we are also asking people to wear masks. senator graham doesn't do that. this is real stuff. 3500 south carolinians have lost their lives. 150,000 have been infected. one who lost their life was my aunt gladys who died alone in a nursing home. this is impacting families and away we have never seen in our lives. what we needed somebody to be serious about this. 750,000 south carolinians have lost their job. 400,000 of them lost their health care. all we are asking is for one of the top leaders in the state to lead by example. don't hold rallies without a mask. make sure that you are washing your hands. where you are in a form with -- forum interacting with folks,
after you have been in a room with two people who contracted the coronavirus, you get a test. that's all we are asking. it doesn't take a lot to do that. i don't understand why his colleagues can do it, the vice president can do it, he things he is special enough that he can't. gordon: thank you. carolyn: continuing with the same conversation, talking about covid-19. senator graham has presented us with a doctor's note indicating that he's not necessarily needing to be tested. this is the same dr. who would octor who would take care of you if you are elected. do you believe that that doctor's note is sufficient? ms. harrison: well, i'm not sure. i do know that dr. fauci said yesterday that the white house event that started this all was a super spreader event. we all have to take this stuff seriously.
i don't believe that our senator has. very early on, he was in those rooms. we all heard bob woodward talk about the president and what he said in terms of how they tried to talk down the coronavirus initially. senator graham helped set up the interviews. he was in the room. i remember the interviews in which he tried to talk this down as well. he said, if 50,000 people die, that's a success. then 75,000. then 100,000. this is something that is impacting so many people. it breaks my heart to hear the stories of folks saying that they can't properly say goodbye to loved ones because they can't hold their hand. they can't be in the emergency room when their loved one is passing away. it's important that we take this stuff seriously. it is impacting us as a society in a way that we have never seen before. >> sorry for your loss. i appreciate you sharing that with us. another question about the
national mask mandate. the white house is now described as a hotspot. we know that dozens of people associated with the trump campaign have tested positive for covid-19. many of those people were seen at large gatherings not wearing masks. the question for you is do you believe there should be a national mask mandate. ms. harrison: i do. mitch mcconnell believes the same thing. he said that he won't go to the white house because they have different standards as it relates to the coronavirus. we have to take this seriously. when we look at other nations. new zealand is the perfect example. nations who are almost coronavirus free at this point in time. they came up with a national plan for how they were going to address this. instead of saying, each state is different. we don't have walls on the borders of our states. people get on airplanes. my in-laws living in utah, i live in south carolina. it's easy for us to fly there.
if i took the coronavirus with me, i'm impacting the people in the plane. i'm impacting the people in the location i'm going. those people impact other folks. there are no walls on the borders of each of our united states. we have to come up with a comprehensive plan in order to address this. we failed to do that. carolyn: thank you. gordon: so, given how serious covid is, students all over the country have to show immunization records to return the class. if there's a covid-19 vaccine, should they be required to have that to return to class? ms. harrison: that's a possibility. we have to look at that. it's really important. it's part of the reason why we do contact tracing. it's part of the reason why we have to be thoughtful in the process to make sure that nobody is impacted and infected by something we are still learning so much about. it's in our best interest for us to take this as seriously as we
possibly can so that we can get back to normal. if we continue to try to be lax with how we deal with this issue, we are going to lag behind all of these other nations that have taken positive steps forward to get the coronavirus behind them instead of in front of them. gordon: so, you would consider a national mandate for schoolchildren to get the vaccine? ms. harrison: just like we ask for kids to have flu shots, we would probably have to think about the same thing. gordon: what about the people who are concerned about the safety of the vaccine? ms. harrison: at this point, we need the scientists and not politicians -- if you ask me if this is a good vaccine, i would tell you, don't ask me. ask someone who understands this stuff. in terms of doctors and scientists. if dr. fauci, who i believe folks on all sides of the aisle and in the middle, if he says this is a reliable vaccine, something that we have tested, something that has gone through the processes that we usually have for these types of things, and we feel that it's good for
the american people, i will take it. i'm not going to take it if lindsey graham is telling me that. again senator graham and i aren't doctors. we need to rely upon them to give us the best advice. gordon: all right, thank you. carolyn? carolyn: mr. harrison, african-americans represent 27% of south carolina's population. of the 3500 people who died in our state, 35% of those people were black. what will you do to ensure access to medical care and health care for all people in our state? ms. harrison: yeah. you know what the coronavirus did? it exacerbated problems that were already here. i remember hearing about the coronavirus and cringing. i knew the impact that it would have here in south carolina, particularly on the most vulnerable communities.
we live in a state were almost 250,000 people don't have access to health care. we are one of 12 states that have refused to expand medicaid. 38 other states have expanded medicaid under the affordable care act. south carolina has failed to do so. four of our hospitals in the state have closed. we are seeing that site in type of trend. -- that same type of trend in other states that refused to expand medicaid. if you live in one of those communities, it doesn't matter if you are black or white, and you have complications with diabetes or are impacted by the coronavirus or have come locations with a pregnancy, instead of taking you 15 minutes like it used to to get to the nearest hospital, and it takes you 25 or 45 minutes. that's a death sentence. those folks are not looking for a democratic solution or a republican solution. they just are looking for a solution. we have a responsibility to the people here in south carolina. the leadership. lindsey graham is emblematic of
it. he's been here 25 years and failed to do so. i've gone to some of these communities. they've told me that lindsey graham has not shown up. we can do better, particularly on health. two years ago, 14 of our 46 counties had no ob/gyn. none. zero. zip. we are in the 21st century. 14 counties in south carolina don't have any ob/gyns? and we are serious about health care? we have a senator who comes up with a health care plan that he thought of in a barbershop. where he doesn't protect folks with pre-existing conditions. he puts a senior tax on seniors. he blocked money. let's be serious about health care. it doesn't have to be a partisan thing. let's be focused on the health of every single south carolinian. that's what i'm going to do. i'm going to fight to expand medicaid. i will fight to strengthen the
affordable care act so that every person can have health care, whether it's given to them by their employer or because they go into some type of public option. carolyn: mr. harrison, i would also like to talk to you about the stimulus relief package. this week, negotiations broke down to provide a second round of relief to families and businesses affected by covid-19. now that the first round has expired, people are losing their jobs. they are losing health care. they are losing businesses. how would you work beyond the aisle, across the aisle and foster bipartisan support to pass something to help not only the nations families, but families right here in your community of south carolina? ms. harrison: thank you for that question. it breaks my heart to talk to small business owners and folks who are on unemployment right now and desperately needed that federal unappointed benefit.
again, i said 750,000 south carolinians lost their job as a result of this coronavirus. many of them lost their health care as well. our senator said, over his dead body would he allow an extension of the unappointed benefit. as a result, because the benefit ran out in august, there is so many folks who are on the verge of being kicked out of their homes. they are on the verge of not being able to pay their bills. our senator is so out of touch. he didn't understand why it was important to continue that benefit. that brought $20 million into the south carolina economy every week. every week. not only did it benefit the families, it also benefited the small businesses that are on the verge of closing. south carolina, i don't know if folks know this, is ranked 50th in the nation as it relates to ppp dollars per worker. 49 other states are getting more money for their small businesses to stay open then south carolina did.
for me, at the end of the day, this is about what we can do to improve the state. not about washington policies. i will work with anybody who is looking forward to trying to build progress. that means staying in session. lindsey graham and the senate when out of session for vacation in august. we need to stay in session and get it done. i wish the senator would take the urgency he has for the supreme court nomination, to put that into doing a bill to address the needs of the folks in south carolina. carolyn: thank you. gordon? gordon: convenient, mr. harrison, that you mentioned the supreme court. that is our next topic. i know you want to talk about the process of confirmation. before you do that, is amy coney barrett qualified to serve as a justice on the u.s. up in court? >> she was qualified to be, in terms of the district court. so i would need to ask her some questions to find out where she
stands on certain issues. particularly in terms of the civil rights that have been gained in this country for so many groups. hopefully, those questions will be asked of her and her confirmation hearings. we should not be talking about confirmation hearings right now. lindsey graham said, it use my words against me. we should not be considering a justice in the fourth year, in an election year and that he would not vote for such a justice. i learned, many of us learned in south carolina, a manager women are only as good as their work. what is the word of lindsey graham worth? gordon: what is your position? do you have a rule you follow of when it is and is not appropriate to confirm amount nomination? ms. harrison: my room is the precedent and standards of the united states senate. in 2016, the rule was that whenever a president nominates, it should be considered.
lindsey graham and others change that rule and set a new president. now he's going against his word. in essence, this is a new precedent. i will follow it. if we will be a nation of laws and rules, we have to follow those rules. i said the other night, it feels like i'm playing monopoly with my six-year-old son. you change the rules to benefit you. that's not the way this country needs to run. i will always follow the rules. people will always know. even if they don't agree with me, they will know that i will tell them the truth. i will not waffle one way or the other. i will tell them the truth. gordon:, i want to talk about criminal justice. i want to read something you posted on twitter. just as slavery was ended, we can end the epidemic of police brutality and root out the systemic racism that oppresses communities of color across south carolina. are you saying police brutality
is as pervasive in the south as slavery once was? if you are suggesting a legislative solution, exactly what is it? ms. harrison: let me tell you, i grew up in orangeburg. one of the very first stories that i heard, i started learning more about the civil rights movement and what went on in my hometown, about the orangeburg massacre. three college students who were protesting a segregated bowling alley, a bunch of other kids on the campuses were protesting because they wanted to desegregate that bowling alley. they went marching. three of those students lost their lives that night. none of them had guns or weapons. they were marching for equality. they were killed by members of
law enforcement. those members of law enforcement actually went to trial. nobody went to jail. nobody did. imagine growing up in a community where that is the legacy. imagine being an african-american man who has heard all his life of the horror stories about how folks have been brutalized and beaten and how the criminal justice system hasn't been fair. that's not just. that's the reality of so many people in the state. this -- is that saying that all police are bad? no. my grandpa ron on my stepdad's side had been in the police force over 30 years. i've talked to him. we all feared about him leaving each day and coming back home at night. what we are seeing is, there's bad apples in the system that
need to be rooted out. we need to bring accountability to the system so that every community, whether it's a black community or white community or latino community, can feel as though there police are there to protect them. gordon: what is your solution? ms. harrison: part of the solution is coming up with a register. so that we know those bad police officers. somebody who commits atrocities in chicago can't come down to spartanburg county and get a job as the deputy seraph. getting a national standard of force so that we know whether you are in chicago or south carolina, we know what the standards are in terms of how you use force and what type of force you can use. let's demilitarized our police so we can rebuild the faith between our communities and the police officers. we understand the importance of policing. i don't believe in this trend of defunding the police. police have such an important role in our communities. what i believe is bringing more accountability into that system in order to make sure that folks have trust that when they call on the police officers, they don't have to worry about whether they will have their lives. >> thank you. >> thank you. we are continuing our discussion
about civil unrest. social change in this country has come about when women and racial and ethnic minorities have marched and protesters. we have seen that a lot this past year. describe legislation that you would push forward to ensure the rights of organizations are met. have you met members of the black lives matter movement? what kind of legislation have they described they want? what have they expressed as their concern? ms. harrison: yeah, i know folks in the black movement. i have not met officially with any of the organization. i know a number of the folks in the movement here in south carolina. carolyn: why have you not met with them? ms. harrison: they have and for me. [laughter] carolyn: did you feel it was important to reach out to them because their presence has been so visible this year? ms. harrison: well, many of the
folks here in south carolina that are involved, i know personally. we worked together on other things. what they are pushing for -- i don't believe in the funding the police. i do believe in strengthening the relationship between the police and the community. more community-based policing. making sure that we also bring in other professionals that can help alleviate some of the pressure and some of the tension. bringing in psychologists. ringing in drug addiction counselors and those types of folks to help address the situations in our communities. i think that's really important.
i've also talked with a few members in the police force. things they believe can work as well. i believe i can be one of those people that will bring both are policing some -- forces and community organizations together. sit at a table and come up with pollutions that work for south carolina. gordon: if the supreme court were to strike down the affordable care act, what is the plan to replace it? if i'm in the united states senate, we are going to find a way to replace it. if the supreme court does strike the aca, in the midst of a pandemic that is only going to get worse between now -- we are in flues season. we are seeing spikes. dr. fauci said yesterday, he wants to 10,000 new cases a day. we are in the midst of a pandemic. lindsey graham supports the court to strike this down. the question is, what are we going to do for those 23 million people who do not have health care? we will have to find a way to make sure that that happens.
otherwise, we are going to create a greater pandemic and tragedy and crisis in this country. i believe in the aca. i believe using it as a public option. strengthen it by including mental, vision, dental as well. we will be in a fix as a nation if that law is struck down by the supreme court. lindsey graham supports that effort. gordon: thank you. we have one minute left. carolyn? carolyn: thank you. sorry that we are short on time. we would like you to answer the question about abortions. describe what you believe are appropriate restrictions. mr. harrison: me, i'm pro-choice. at the end of the day, i believe the issue of abortion is a hard issue. a painful one to talk about. at the end of the day i think it between a woman, her doctor, god. politicians don't have a role in that. we can have a role in making sure we address some of these issues that are impacting women and the health of their babies. the infant mortality rate in
south carolina is in the top 10. i stated earlier that 14 of our counties had no ob/gyn. we have a senator who is proposing a health care -- >> thank you very much. >> we want to give you the promised one minute for a closing statement. mr. harrison: well, thank you all for doing this again. i wish you and your families health. to all the viewers here today. listen, in the end of the campaign, as i've been saying, i've lived the american dream. i grew up in a mobile home and i'm now running for united states senate. that only happens in america. our state motto is my life. it's the motto of my life. what i want in this campaign, what i hope is that i've inspired you. went graham is going to scare you. he's going to scare you about crime and everything.
we are tired of being scared in this country. it's time for us to come together as a people. i hope your my campaign, a came pan that is built in hope, that people will see that and say it's time for a new day. youlyn: mr. harrison, thank for joining us tonight. keep it here. more to come. we will speak with senator lindsey graham when we come back after a short break. ♪ >> one of the country most important senate races. incumbent lindsey graham and challenger jamie harrison. mr. harrison: i will fight for you as hard as i would for my family. >> a live discussion on the issues important to you. the pandemic, the economy, education. from your local election headquarters. the south carolina chamber of commerce and nextstar media, the u.s. senate race, south carolina, live candidate conversation. amy: once again, good evening and thank you for joining us.
we are coming to you live from our studios in spartanburg, south carolina. i'm the evening anchor here. tonight's conversation will be livestreamed and broadcast on our next star network across the carolinas as well as our partner station in columbia. many of you turned -- tuned in this evening to watch the candidates for u.s. senate in their second debate. both campaigns agreed to the format of that debate. this week, jamie harrison asked that lindsey graham take a covid test. the senator was tested last friday. in a statement, the harrison campaign wrote, i cannot responsibly debate him in person tomorrow night and allow politics to put my family, my campaign staff, senator graham's staff, and members of the media at unnecessary risk. the graham campaign responded, he's demanding special treatment. if he's not able to interact with south carolinians on the same terms, that they live their lives, he should not be there senator. because of this impasse, we have
changed the format for the form tonight. at the top of the hour, mr. harrison joined us for half an hour of uninterrupted questions from our panel. now, senator graham will face that same panel with equal time. we have taken steps to provide a safe environment tonight. the environment has been sanitized and the candidates and our panel are separated at a safe distance. let's meet that panel. anchor carolyn murray and anchor gordon dale. gordon last the first question. gordon: amy, thank you. good evening, senator. thank you for being here. starting on monday, you will chair a committee to confirm a new supreme court justice. you will be inside a hearing room for hours, several days of the week, with some of america's top elected leadership. is it not appropriate for you to take a coronavirus test in advance of that hearing? sen. graham: number one, i'm the chairman of the senate judiciary
committee that's about to confirm the most highly qualified woman ever nominated by the republican party. i'm extreme he proud of it. we are sitting -- setting the hearing room up based on cdc guidelines. i just got a statement from the architect of the capitol saying that the room is set up in a compliant way. here's what's important. how many of you will go to work tomorrow? how many of you will be around people tomorrow? if you are a waitress and you go to the restaurant to earn your living, are you going to require your employer that everybody be tested that comes into the restaurant? are you going to require that
all your coworkers be tested? that would break our economy. we will run the hearing in a medically compliant way. i will not live my life differently than you have to live yours. you cannot do it mr. harrison has demanded. you cannot show up to work like that. i have a letter from my doctor say i am cdc compliant. this is about political accountability. i do a lot of interviews. i was looking forward to debating mr. harrison. i voted for nominees presented by barack obama. i saw in them qualified women that i would not have chosen but i understood president obama have that right. when it came time for president trump to nominate neil gorsuch, he called against that. the rules had changed. i voted against changing the rules. here is the last thing about judges. i voted for sotomayor and kagan.
then i watched the destruction of brett kavanaugh. i stood up and stood by him. now there is $50 million coming in to take me out. i stood up for him. mr. harrison cheered on the destruction of brett kavanaugh. i guarantee you there is no way he would ever vote for amy coney barrett. that is important to voters in south carolina. if you are looking for someone to reach across the aisle, i have done it. >> if we could play the recording. let's ask about that formation assess. this is something you said a short time ago.
let's play that. sen. graham: if an opening comes in the last year of president trump's term and the primary process has started, we will wait until the next election. gordon: you said that, senator, in 2018. the question is, how do people know the things you're saying tonight will not change when it is politically convenient for you and your party? sen. graham: i appreciate that question. january of 2019i was asked, , ier the kavanaugh debacle said i would see what the market would bear. and if there was an opening on the screen court, what would be due? i would see what the market would bear. i will lead the charge to confirm judge amy coney barrett to the court. chuck schumer would do the same thing. we have had 19 nominations in an
election year. 17 of the 19 were confirmed. when it came to democratic judges, i gave them a fair shake and i voted for them. my democratic colleagues want to destroy these judges. bourque, alito, cavanaugh. i am hoping this hearing does not turn into the kavanaugh debacle. i'm hoping amy coney barrett gets treated with respect. we are moving forward. we are doing nothing unusual here in terms of how the senate operates. gordon: thank you. carolyn? carolyn: thank you, gordon. we appreciate your time. the white house has been described as a coronavirus hotspot. dozens of people associated with the campaign have tested positive. many of those people were seen at large gatherings and they were not wearing masks. my question is, do you believe in a national mast mandate? sen. graham: i believe everyone should wear a mask, wash her
hands, socially distance. this is a deadly disease. carolyn: and do you believe there should be a national mask mandate? sen. graham: i don't know how you enforce it. who enforces it? does the fbi follow us all around? i believe in responsibility. i don't know how a national mandate would work. a vaccine is near. we will defeat this virus. if the democrats take over the senate, the house, and the white house. the most radical political agenda in history comes our way. let me tell you a big difference in this race. if the republican party can hold the senate, i am line line to be the budget chairman. if the democratic party takes back the senate, the budget chairman will be bernie sanders.
if the republican party can hold the senate, i am line line to be the budget chairman. if the democratic party takes back the senate, the budget chairman will be bernie sanders. i want you to understand what i just said. there is a big difference between me and bernie sanders when it comes to your money. vote for me. carolyn: thank you, senator. we appreciate it. gordon: we do want to stay on the topic of covid, though. your opponent said he would consider requiring students returning to last to get a vaccine. it that something you would support? sen. graham: if we get a
vaccine, i will be the first one to take it. my job is to be a senator for our state. we have a superintendent of education who i trust. we have a governor who i trust unlike. when it comes to covid, let's push to put this behind us. >> should vaccine be required -- behind us. it has been deadly, tough on the economy. i want to know the stimulus package for help. youon: we planned it to ask about this, it's up next. about the vaccine, should it be required for students returning to school? sen. graham: i think that is up to the people of south carolina. i am not running for governor, i am running for united states senate. she won the right to make education policy. i am running for the right to make economic policy at the
national level. to avoid the biggest tax increase buyer democratic colleagues. they will change america as we know it today. they will expand the court to pack it with liberals as sure as i'm sitting here. what does that mean to us? our voice is lost. picked bys will be new york and california. bernie sanders versus lindsey graham, i can go on and on. liberal judges versus conservative judges. gordon: carolyn? just as thattor, first round of support has expired, a lot of people are losing jobs and their health care.
you talked about providing relief. how will you do that? how will you reach across the aisle to ensure bipartisan support for families who are struggling and desperate for relief right now? by voting for a package that makes a difference. i voted for phase 3. it passed the senate unanimously. i want the money to help the problem. the chamber is one of the sponsors of what would have been a debate, now a debate, nala conversation. my family ran a restaurant, liquor store, park, pool room, i grew up in the bark, -- in the back, what a great country, going from the back of a bar to being a senator. but i want to play by the rules. if you do what is required in business, i don't want you to be sued. my democratic colleagues don't agree. i'm for hundreds of billions of dollars to help our schools safely allowing schools to go
back. i'm for pvp. i just got back from myrtle beach. the tourism industry is on its back. a tough summer, no one is traveling, the golf courses are not being run at all. another round of loans for businesses who are struggling? count me in. i talked to the president at lunch. i was on the phone with secretary mnuchin. i'm excited that pelosi and mnuchin are talking again. count me in for another stimulus package. we have to have liability protection so businesses are not sued out of existence. carolyn: thank you. gordon: our next topic is criminal justice. you said you did not believe there was systemic racism in our law enforcement. as a congress, what legislation to protect americans from police brutality? amy: number 1 -- sen. graham: number one, let me say this.
reform the police, yes. what happened to mr. floyd was wrong. people should pay the price. but what is happening in america and all over the country, is a war on police itself. there are some bad cops out there. i have been a prosecutor, defense attorney, military judge. i have been endorsed by the fraternal order of police. i voted for criminal justice reform to make sure that african-american males and hispanic nails who have been sentenced to long times in jail can be resentenced. we produced a police reform bill that was bipartisan. chuck schumer stopped it from coming to the floor. they want more money for diversity in hiring more minorities.
they want the issue, they do not want to solve the problem. jamie harrison, my opponent, supported the nancy pelosi form. he will pick pelosi over tim scott every time. he will go with schumer when it comes to judges. that's what's on the ballot here, folks. count me in for reforming the police. the nancy pelosi plan will cripple the police. mr. harrison had a chance to weigh in and be bipartisan. he chose pelosi over tim scott. i did not. gordon: carolyn? carolyn: our next subject is the issue of civil unrest in this country. social change has come about when women and racial minorities have protested. some of that has resulted in writing. -- rioting. certainly, no one supports lawlessness. in the past you have said that you support nobody supported
black lives matter. have you met with members of that organization, first of all? i have met with -- sen. graham: i have met with pastors in that community and let me tell you the facts. racist an inherently state? no. let me tell you why. to young people of color, this is a great state. one thing i can say without any doubt, you can be an african-american and go to the senate. you just have to add the values of our state. tim scott is the only african-american senator in the country. nikki haley is the daughter of indian immigrants. she became governor. in south carolina, it's not about the color of your skin, it's about the ideas. the reason i will win this race is because of my conservative philosophy. it fits our state. i am in line with tim scott and nikki haley. our opponent is going to lose, not because of race, but because he is so liberal.
count me in for reforming the police. he's raising $50 million to flip this state into the democratic column and it won't work. coming in for reforming the police. i voted for the first step act. president trump led the way. i worked with they can go back cory booker. a lot of people getting out of jail that resentenced to long terms in jail. 31% of our state is african-american. i'm asking every african-american out there to look at my record. supporting historic black colleges and universities and i'm glad president trump made it a permanent fixture. i care about everybody. if you are a young african-american, a democrat, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be
conservative, not liberal. gordon: senator graham -- carolyn: senator graham, i would like to talk about that a little bit more. if you could explain yourself. you said you do not believe there is systemic racism. but you named two people who are elected officials, nikki haley and senator tim scott, do you think there is a problem that you are only able to name so few people of color when it comes to people who have had success in their careers? that perhaps there is a problem when you can only name so few. sen. graham: here's the problem. i think naming nikki haley and tim scott, national leaders in the republican party. i consider this a proud moment for south carolina. not just for the republican party. tim scott has tried to reform the police. he has been called names he would not believe. you don't have to take my word for it. you can go as far as you want to
go if you have values associated with our state. here's the problem. tim scott has been stopped on capitol hill by the police. i never have. i want to deal with that. i want more police from the community. i would to make sure we have transparency in policing. more body cameras. i want to recruit more people. i want to involve de-escalation training. and with the police to be well-equipped to deal with -- deal with the problems we have. we have talked to police officers all over the state who feel like they are abandoned. i will not be part of that movement. with me, you will get reform. but i will not abandon the cops. carolyn: senator graham, thank you. we would like you to take a look at a video question.
it regards the rights of lgbtq. take a listen. >> i have a question for the candidates. my partner and i have been married for five years and been together for 22. what will the candidates do to ensure our rights are protected? the rights of gay people, married in the state of south carolina? sen. graham: good question. the law of the land by the supreme court is that same-sex marriage is now legal. [coughing] i accept that ruling. we are a conservative state. there are a lot of religious people who believe in traditional marriages. they are not bigots or neanderthals for believing that. this man, under our law, has a right to his relationship. i will honor the law of the land. i have tried to be tolerant. trying to understand that people have different life experiences than i do. i am not a woman or a person of color. i listen. when it comes to south carolina,
i can tell you right now, i think i have been an effective voice for here we are -- who we are. same-sex marriage's legal and we will honor that. carolyn: thank you, senator. gordon: talking about the affordable care act, if the down,e court strikes it the aca, they have promised to repeal and replace. where is the replace? sen. graham: obamacare in south carolina has been a disaster. you are promised if you could like your doctor, you could keep it. premiums have gone up 30%. i was on obamacare and my coverage was almost nonexistent. three states get 35% of obamacare dollars. california, new york, massachusetts. nancy pelosi, chuck schumer, elizabeth moran. 22% of the population. what what i like to do?
i would like to make sure that if you are in spartanburg, you get the same amount of money from the federal government as if you live in san francisco. that would be a billion-dollar increase for us. level out the playing field. send the money to the state directly. put our local officials in charge of health care. the reason liberals hate my idea is because i am trying to get money and power out of washington and back here at home. their goal of single-payer health care will reduce quality and increase cost. we don't want to some billions of dollars to new york and california and massachusetts. gordon: there are 150,000 south carolinians with a confirmed case of covid. that is a pre-existing condition. they may lose their ability to buy health care without the aca. sen. graham: that's not -- absolutely. look at graham cassidy. we send the money back to south carolina. we get a billion dollars more
under my bill that obamacare gives us. we get to manage the money here at home. local politicians are in charge. don't like what they are doing, vote them out. a bureaucrat in washington could care less about us. pre-existing conditions are required under the graham cassidy bill. my mom died when i was 21. my dad died when i was 22. we went broke because we were underinsured. when my parents died, my sister was 15. we got a social security provider benefit check from my sister. we moved in with an aunt and 25le who never made over hundred dollars. i get that we are all one car wreck away from getting health. we won't take pre-existing conditions away from anybody. that makes no sense. i'm trying to get the money in the power out of washington and back you're at home because our liberal friends are going to put all of our health care under the federal government umbrella and that is not the way to go, folks.
thank you. carolyn? carolyn: senator graham, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. do you support changes to federal marijuana laws including legalization, decriminalization, and medicinal use? we are trying to get a few more questions if you could make it brief. sen. graham: i do not. marijuana can be a very dangerous drug. specifically for young people. i do support medical marijuana. i think there are medical purposes associated with marijuana. >> despite the fact that 70% of americans say they have used marijuana. there are polls that show people believe marijuana could in should be used for recreational use. sen. graham: i am in the 30% that says it is not a good idea. it is a gateway drug to other things. medical marijuana makes sense. legalization, i will not impose on the people of south carolina. gordon: we only have a minute before we get to your closing, so quickly, there has been some
criticism from the president about malin and absentee ballots, whether they will be safe or not. do you encourage voters to vote by mail? sen. graham: yes. if you want to vote by mail, do it. there will be a record of the transaction. voting by mail where everyone gets a ballot whether you want one or not, it's a disaster. there was a guy in minneapolis with 300 of them in his car. voting by mail in south carolina, there is a record here. i want a fair election. i want everyone to vote. this liberal dream of mailing out ballots and helping people get it without valid harvesting is a threat to our democracy. gordon: carolyn: carolyn: -- -- carolyn: one final question this , was certainly a compelling time in our community. nine members of a church were gunned down by a gunman who was able to purchase again because of the charleston loophole. i apologize, we are out of time.
gordon: we did promise you one minute as a closing statement, go ahead. sen. graham: in this election, mr. harrison is the associate chairman of the democratic national committee. he is a great spokesman for their cause. i am a conservative republican who reaches across the aisle. i am the judiciary committee. i will fight for conservative judges. law & order versus mob in chaos. conservative judges versus liberal judges. free enterprise versus bernie sanders being in charge of your budget. i love south carolina, it is my home. it is the best place in the world to raise children and start a business. as long as i am your senator, i intend to keep it that way. senatornk you so much, graham, for being with us tonight. a reminder, absentee voting is underway across south carolina. thank you for watching and have
a good night. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national senator cornyn: our campaign 2020 coverage continues with candidates campaigning and debating. c-span, your unfiltered view of politics. >> 35 senate seats are up for election this year with 15 of them considered competitive according to the cook political report. if the democrats were to take a senate majority, they would need to net four additional seats. the u.s. senate race in texas is considered one of those competitive elections. next, republican incumbent john cornyn faces democratic challenger and