Sen. Lindsey Graham, who announced today he's running for president, has previously suggested he fears attacks from Fox News. Graham has attempted to placate the conservative network with nonstop appearances and praise of their coverage of issues like Benghazi and immigration reform.
Ryan Lizza reported in The New Yorker that during 2010 negotiations on a climate bill, Graham warned fellow senators “that they needed to get as far as they could in negotiating the bill 'before Fox News got wind of the fact that this was a serious process.'”
But, back in Washington, Graham warned Lieberman and Kerry that they needed to get as far as they could in negotiating the bill “before Fox News got wind of the fact that this was a serious process,” one of the people involved in the negotiations said. “He would say, 'The second they focus on us, it's gonna be all cap-and-tax all the time, and it's gonna become just a disaster for me on the airwaves. We have to move this along as quickly as possible.' ”
Graham later abandoned the efforts, which were heavily attacked by Fox, and said he did not believe human-caused emissions “are contributing overwhelmingly to global climate change.”
In 2011, Graham told reporters that Fox News was making it difficult for him on immigration reform. He said: “When Fox News is saying 'amnesty' 24 hours a day, it makes it harder for me to get people on my side.”
In 2013, however, Graham told the Wall Street Journal that Fox News chief Roger Ailes “supported fixing the broken immigration system and that his network was 'far more balanced' in covering the debate”:
But Mr. Graham, an architect of last year's Senate immigration bill, said in an interview that the chief of Fox News supported fixing the broken immigration system and that his network was “far more balanced” in covering the debate than it had been during the 2006-2007 effort. Mr. Ailes has also been quoted on the record supporting the immigration overhaul, including its most contentious piece, a path to citizenship for those here illegally.
“I met with him at least three to four times in person and talked to him a lot,” Mr. Graham said. He said he and others aggressively courted Mr. Ailes in hopes of toning down what Mr. Graham described as vocal opposition on Fox in the past. “People who observed the debate noticed that the tone was different and not so one-sided. It wasn't 'amnesty' every 15 minutes.”
Graham has been a solid ally of Fox News' obsession with Benghazi. A 2014 Media Matters study found that Graham was the elected official interviewed most frequently on the network about the September 2011 attacks. Graham said in May 2013 of Fox's Benghazi coverage: “Thank God for Fox.”
The senator has been a frequent presence on Fox News' evening and primetime programming and Fox News Sunday. Since President Obama's second inauguration to early April, Graham made 72 appearances, including 46 on Greta Van Susteren's program.