Sen. Lindsey Graham accused the NAACP of having an anti-Republican bias during a testy exchange on Wednesday with the leader of the civil rights group.
Cornell Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, was testifying in opposition to President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Jeff Sessions for attorney general. Brooks cited Sessions’ low scores on the NAACP’s legislative report cards, which track how lawmakers vote with respect to key civil rights issues.
That led to the confrontation with Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, who argued that the NAACP’s metric favors Democrats over Republicans.
“Would you say that there seems to be a difference in terms of the parties and how well they do in the NAACP’s legislative agenda?” Graham said. The senator said that of the 20 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the 11 Republicans received failing scores from the NAACP or were not rated, while the nine Democrats received perfect or near-perfect marks.
“The report cards are based on legislation, not party affiliation,” Brooks responded.
“Isn’t it kind of odd that one party gets 100% and nobody else does very well on our side?” Graham said. “I think it’s really odd. I think it – well, it speaks for itself.”
Graham later fired back, as Brooks maintained that the NAACP’s scores were based on voting record, not party.
“It means that you’re picking things that conservative Republicans don’t agree with you on and liberal Democrats do,” Graham said. “I hope that doesn’t make us all racist and all of them perfect on the issue.”
“I think the report card says volumes about how you view Republican conservatives,” Graham said. “Maybe we’re all wrong and maybe you’re all right. I doubt if it’s that way.”
Watch a video of the exchange:
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 11,2017