Tea Party Senate candidate Bill Connor released the first ad attacking Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., of the Republican primary, highlighting the senator's praise for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a means of countering a Graham's effort to tout his investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack.
"He rails on the administration about Benghazi, but in private has nothing but praise for Hillary," Connor said of Graham in the press release accompanying the ad.
The Connor ad shows Graham calling Clinton "a good role model for young people" and describing her as one of the "greatest ambassadors for the American people that I've known in my lifetime." Connor's critique is perhaps undermined by the fact that Graham made the comments before the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, but Republican primary voters will doubtless dislike seeing him praise Clinton.
As Graham joked at the time, "At the risk of ruining [her] career, I'm going to say nice things about her; [Republican] people out there listening, don't hold that against me either, on our side."
Connor, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, hopes to diminish the South Carolina military community's support for Graham.
"I was at the Tea Party debate when I first saw this footage of Graham praising and hugging Hillary," he said also said in the release. "I thought it represented what's most frustrating to South Carolina conservatives about Lindsey Graham — the inherent hypocrisy of calling himself a conservative when he campaigns, but acting like and voting like a moderate or liberal the rest of the time."