Graham made the remarks during an appearance on the latest addition of Fox News‘ Hannity. The senator forecasted that Trump would be the guiding force in a GOP takeover of Congress after host Sean Hannity asked him about Republicans who “aren’t particularly fond of” the former president and instead “want to go back to the good old days of the establishment.”
“I think you’re going to see, over the next couple of months, Donald Trump lead the Republican Party on policy and give us the energy we need to take back the House and the Senate,” said Graham. “The Democrats are doing their part. If we could get behind President Trump and follow his lead, we will win in 2022. If we argue with ourselves, we’re going to lose. And there’s no reason to lose.”
The senator said that Trump would display his policy-driven leadership during the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where the former president is scheduled to speak on February 28. The speech is expected to be Trump’s first major address since leaving office as the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
“Trump’s going to give a speech Sunday that’s going to be very policy-centric,” Graham said. “Every Republican should rally around it. I think it will help us with independents… I’ve never felt better about President Trump’s leading the party than I do right now.”
“He will position himself as the alternative to Joe Biden,” he added. “He, I think, will make a speech that will unify Republicans on policy. He’s been working the phones. I was with him all weekend. He wants to win in 2022.”
When asked whether Trump plans to seek a nonconsecutive second term in 2024, Graham did not answer directly but said “stay tuned.” Hannity pressed the issue, joking that Graham, a regular guest on his show, was risking his position as a future “correspondent” by not answering definitively. Graham joked that he would provide a direct answer when he receives his “first check.”
Trump’s CPAC address is scheduled to be given only weeks after his second Senate impeachment trial, for allegedly inciting insurrection at the January 6 U.S. Capitol riots, ended in acquittal due to the upper chamber failing to reach a 67-vote supermajority, voting 57-43 in favor of conviction instead.
Graham, one of all but seven Republican senators who voted against conviction, has remained a stalwart ally of Trump following his presidency. Prior to the former president’s win in the 2016 election, Graham was a vocal opponent of Trump, calling him a “kook” who was destined to “destroy” the GOP.
Newsweek reached out to the Republican National Committee for comment.