Senator Lindsay Graham once said Donald Trump should “go to hell”, and The Daily Show happily reminded viewers with a supercut titled “What Happened to Lindsey Graham?” this week.
The South Carolina congressman has long been ridiculed for his transformed stance on Mr Trump, who the Republican anticipated would “taint conservatism for generations to come,”
One Democratic senator, who remained anonymous, recently told Buzzfeed News that the Republican had changed so much, “it’s like the guy I knew got kidnapped and his twin brother showed up”.
But the Republican, as Daily Show host Trevor Noah highlighted on Thursday, said a Trump vote was “like being shot in the head,” when he was interviewed on the show in 2016.
“If Donald Trump carries the banner of my party, I think it taints conservatism for generations to come,” said the senator to Mr Noah. “I think his campaign is opportunistic, race baiting, religious bigotry, xenophobia. Other than that, he’d be a good nominee.”
Mr Graham added “it’s possible that some” Republicans support racism, bigotry, and xenophobia, saying “some do, absolutely.”
He went on to add that choosing between senator Ted Cruz and Mr Trump as the 2016 Republican presidential nominee was “ like being shot or poisoned,” and concluded that “my party’s completely screwed up,”
Mr Graham, who once helped the Obama administration pass an immigration bill that extended a path to US citizenship to 11 million people, more recently has been pleading with television viewers to donate to his reelection.
South Carolina has now become a close race between the Republican and Democrat Jamie Harrison, in a race Mr Graham said this month had “taken on sort of a national profile.”