Lindsey Graham Blasts Joe Biden's Voting Rights Bill As 'Manufactured BS'

Senator Lindsey Graham gave short shrift to the Democrats' plans to reform voting rights shortly before President Joe Biden delivered a speech on the issue in Georgia—a state where the GOP is accused of disenfranchising millions of Americans.

Biden took to the stage in Atlanta on Tuesday to decry what he described as Republican efforts to restrict the right to vote in a "battle for the soul of America."

The city of Atlanta was formerly represented in Congress by the civil rights legend John Lewis, who died in 2020, and the state has been at the center of the debate about voting rights after legislation was passed last year that critics say adversely affects the poor and people of color.

The measures passed by the state's Senate include limiting mail-in voting and eliminating same-day voter registration.

Before Biden took to the stage alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, Graham appeared on the conservative channel Newsmax and was asked what he expected the president to say.

The South Carolina senator said: "Being a white Republican from the south you get accused of being a racist every election cycle."

He rejected the charge that access to the ballot box had been restricted. "This is an effort to create a narrative that's a lie," he told anchor Eric Bolling. "The Georgia law doesn't disenfranchise people in Georgia. It requires identification of mail-in ballots.

"It has 15 days of early voting, unlike Delaware," Graham said. "This is an effort to get us to pass federal legislation. This is a bunch of bull, BS."

"This is manufactured BS by liberal Democrats to pass a bill through the United States Senate that would federalize elections. This is not about helping people in Georgia vote.

"This is about trying to intimidate the Senate into passing a bill that would federalize elections, and I'm not gonna do it," he added.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

Biden used Tuesday's speech to push for the need to change the filibuster rules to make it easier to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

Making his most critical comments so far about election legislation in GOP-controlled cities and states, Biden said "the threat to our democracy is so grave" that "we have no option but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster," in order to pass the two bills.

However, the Biden administration is facing opposition from within its own ranks. The votes of all 50 lawmakers who caucus with the party will be needed for the legislation to pass the evenly split Senate.

Two Democratic senators who have already held up Biden's Build Back Better plans, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have voiced their opposition to scrapping the filibuster.

Other Democratic senators such as Mark Kelly of Arizona, Jon Tester of Montana and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire have expressed doubts about the proposal.

Joe Biden and Lindsey Graham
Senator Lindsey Graham (right) is shown in this split picture with President Joe Biden. In an interview about Biden's plans to pass voting rights reform, Graham said: "Being a white Republican from the south you get accused of being a racist every election cycle." Getty