Graham credits Trump for Supreme Court picks

'This is all working out OK'

By KATE SULLIVAN, CNN
2017 Getty Images

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed happiness Tuesday with President Donald Trump's successful nominations of Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, calling them "the greatest minds of their generation."

Speaking at an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation, the senator from South Carolina recalled that when he first saw Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees, "I said, 'Thank God,' because I thought he might, like, pick Judge Judy."

"Listen, I've come a long way in the Trump world," said Graham, who was at one point Trump's presidential rival. "I ran out of adjectives, and I lost, and he won, and this is all working out OK."

When asked if the ugliness of Kavanaugh's contentious confirmation hearing is the "new normal," Graham said that "if this is not bottom, I'd hate to see it."

He had forcefully defended Kavanaugh against an allegation of sexual assault during a tense Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in September, where both Kavanaugh and his accuser, California professor Christine Blasey Ford, testified. Graham became visibly angry during the hearing and accused Democrats of wanting to "destroy" the life of Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

"I was pissed," Graham said Tuesday night, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

One topic of discussion was Republicans' chances in the upcoming midterm elections -- and Graham said he hoped Democrats would regret their handling of the Kavanaugh hearings on the day after Election Day.

"I hope they get their ass kicked for the way they behaved," Graham said.

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