GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham dusted off his southern charm and played it cool Wednesday morning when a Code Pink protester went after his foreign and views on the Middle East.
At the Atlantic Council's "America's Role in the World" series, CNN's Jake Tapper moderated a discussion with the senator when Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin stole the mic... and the show.Benjamin took the mic and began what was undoubtedly the most exciting part of the talk.
Benjamin: "Hi my name is Medea Benjamin, I'm with the group Code Pink [Graham coughs and flashes a quick smile] I’m just horrified by your foreign policy [Graham laughs] because it’s a prescription for endless war and of course that’s why you feel you need this huge military budget because you want to keep us in these wars."
As Benjamin continued to rant and ramble against Graham's foreign policy views and support for war, Tapper looked impatient asking the Code Pinker if she had a question coming.
Graham listened closely, patiently refusing to respond to the protester as it became clear she had no question and no end planned anytime soon.
Tapper, clearly not amused and over the whole scene, said to Benjamin with all the patience of a worn-out kindergarten teacher, "Medea, can you please hand over the microphone?"
When Benjamin refused to end her rant or relinquish the microphone to a moderator, she continued to ramble and walk down the aisle towards the back of the room as Security was quickly called in and the crowd, already lively, erupted in boo's.
After the microphone was literally grabbed out of Benjamin's hands by an audience member, Graham laughed the whole incident off and joked, "So I’m going to put her down as undecided."
Benjamin sat down after being asked to leave by security, most likely promising she would be quiet the rest of the event. She was.
Graham, back in control, had his moment in the sun and began to defend himself against the nonsensical rant.
“I couldn't disagree with you more, I think people like you make the world incredibly dangerous. I think people like you are radical Islam’s best hope.”
After her stint, Benjamin underplayed the scene and tweeted this:
I asked @LindseyGrahamSC to criticize Saudi crushing of #Bahrain uprising. He didn't. #ACStrategy— Medea Benjamin (@medeabenjamin) July 8, 2015
Though the Code Pink co-founder certainly had the more entertaining performance, Graham won the battle with his calm demeanor and response.
Graham 1 - Code Pink 0
Watch the whole debacle captured by the Washington Free Beacon:
Graham's talk was given at the Atlantic Council's series on foreign policy and national safety titled, "America's Role in the World," for which they have invited each presidential candidate to participate in. Graham was the inaugural speaker for the series. It was also the candidate's first speech on foreign policy of his campaign.