CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has come under fire after recently released audio recordings revealed the senator making jokes about white men and baptists during a private event in Charleston.
Graham confirmed the recordings took place during his speech at a Hibernian Society meeting several weeks ago. The Hibernian Society is an all-male club in downtown Charleston.
"If I get to be president, white men in male only clubs are going to do great in my presidency," the republican senator is heard saying.
The audio recordings were given to CNN by two separate unnamed South Carolina democrats, who received them from a person using an anonymous Gmail address.
He is also heard on the recording laying blame at the government.
"I tried to help you with your tax status. I'm sorry the government is so [expletive] up."
Senator Graham says he made the comments to an Irish-Catholic organization that sometimes hosts politicians for speeches. He says the Society encourages speakers "to be earthy, to make fun of yourself, to make fun of them."
Graham is up for re-election on Tuesday against democrat Brad Hutto.
"When behind the closed doors of a private club, Lindsey Graham let his true colors show," said Hutto. "He is only interested in his own ambitions and the best interests of the wealthy donors he hopes will fund his possible presidential campaign."
Graham said he often teases South Carolina audiences about their various religious denominations, before making a larger point about religious liberty in the United States.