Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) are placing their bets, making a wager on the winner of the 2024 White House race.
The South Carolina Republican appeared as a guest on “The Daily Show” on Monday. Franken, serving as guest host on the Comedy Central program, welcomed his former Senate colleague, saying he was hopeful they would “find common ground.”
“There’s always hope,” Graham quipped.
Describing their relationship in the upper chamber as friendly, Franken said there had since been a “strain in terms of [Graham’s] politics,” specifically pointing to his support of former President Trump.
“Here’s the question for you and maybe others: Trump is trying to come back,” Graham told Franken.
“I think he’s got a better than good chance of winning the primary and a 50/50 chance of being president again,” he added.
Trump launched his 2024 presidential bid last November. President Biden has repeatedly expressed his intention to run for reelection, but hasn’t made an official 2024 campaign announcement.
“The No. 1 tradition that’s meaningful in this country is the peaceful transition of power,” Franken, who resigned from the Senate in 2017 following sexual misconduct accusations, told Graham. “How then can you want a guy who allowed us to go through this violent insurrection?” Franken asked, referring to the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol by Trump supporters.
“When President Trump was president, on the things I care the most about — national security — I thought he did a damn good job,” Graham replied, ticking off a list of what he described as accomplishments by the 45th commander in chief, including energy independence, border security, the Abraham Accords, and ordering the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
“At the end of the day, he’s got to prove to people — not me — that he’s able to lead us again. And that will be a challenge for him,” Graham, 67, continued. “And that will be a challenge for [President] Biden to say ‘Give me four more years after the last four.’ We’ll see what happens,” he added.
“Well, l think Biden wins that,” Franken shot back.
“Let’s bet. Can we bet?” asked Graham.
The pair then agreed on an amount for their wager.
“Twenty bucks. To be paid here,” Graham said as the two shook hands.
“You’ve got to come to grips with the idea a lot of Americans believe that Trump was a good president, but they don’t like what he did or what he said. But this is going to be a real contest in 2024,” Graham said.
“I just think he’s a pathological liar. And I don’t mean to be harsh because I know he’s your friend — and a malignant narcissist,” Franken said of Trump.
“I don’t know how the American people are going to reelect this guy,” Franken, 71, told Graham.
“Don’t take this wrongly, he can survive your criticism,” Graham responded with a laugh. “’Al Franken is down on Trump’ is not the end of Trump.”