Lindsey Graham sells himself as a typical, God-fearing, gay-hating (but out of “love”), Bible-thumping conservative — but when the microphones are off and the setting is more private, he tends to be a bit more open.
Two separate Democrats who received audio of some of Graham’s remarks at an “all-male club” in Charleston, South Carolina from an anonymous Gmail account forwarded recordings to CNN. Graham confirmed the authenticity of the recordings in an interview with the news station on Wednesday.
At the meeting, Graham said that “white men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency,” if he manages to get himself elected President.
“I’m trying to help you with your tax status,” Graham says in one of the clips. “I’m sorry the government’s so f—ed up. If I get to be president, white men in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency.”
In another clip, Graham jokes about the likely religions that would be represented at a meeting of Southern white men. “We got any Presbyterians here? I feel predestined to meet you. We got any Baptists? They’re the ones that drink and don’t admit it.”
Graham told CNN that he made the remarks several weeks ago at a meeting of the Hibernian Society of Charleston. He explained that the Hiberian Society encourages speakers “to be earthy, to make fun of yourself, to make fun of them. Then you say something serious and sit down. And if you talk over 20 minutes, they throw something at you.”
“I hope this doesn’t reflect poorly on the club,” Graham said. “They are great guys.” He explained that his comments about taxes were intended to make fun of the fact that the Hiberian Society is the last all-male organization in existence since the Augusta National Golf Club opened its doors to women.
Hear the remarks for yourself below: