Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is under scrutiny after praising Benito Mussolini for having “great military fortitude.” The Senator’s comments came from an interview on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s new podcast, “Dick’s Corner,” when Graham was asked who he thinks is the world’s greatest politician in history. “Benito Mussolini, of course,” Graham quickly responded.
When asked to expound on his answer, Graham said, “Well, look at the time period. This was a time when Italy demanded leadership. The Italian people needed a leader who would take a stand and show great military fortitude. Benito fulfilled that need.”
Graham’s glowing remarks about the fascist dictator have attracted growing criticism from political commentators and lawmakers in the Democratic Party. “This is the man who brought down democracy in Italy,” said Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, who has a lengthy record of opposing dictatorships. “Mussolini’s cronies roamed the country destroying personal property and killing thousands of his political opponents.”
In response to the public outcry, Graham went on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to further explain his position. “Obviously, I oppose some of the unfortunate mishaps that came out of Mussolini’s reign,” the Senator said. “But it’s unfair to say everything is bad. You know? When Mussolini established his dictatorship, you know what he did? He strengthened Italy’s military while instilling an incredible sense of patriotism. Is that a bad thing? Even though Mussolini did it?”