CINCINNATI -- Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose fiery reprimands of Democrats during the confirmation of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh bolstered him into a new level of national recognition, campaigned for Ohio gubernatorial hopeful Mike DeWine in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
In his endorsement of the attorney general for the state's highest office, Graham compared DeWine to a late longtime friend and mentor.
"If you thought John McCain was a good voice for America and a good man, this will be a good voice for Ohio, and he's a damn good man," he said of DeWine.
Exactly seven days before the election that will award the state's highest office to either DeWine, a Republican, or Richard Cordray, a Democrat, the former enjoyed a projected lead of exactly one point. It's not nearly enough to get comfortable, he said. Hence the high-profile help.
DeWine said he intends to floor the gas in the last week of the race.
"No one's going to out-work me, and as I say, no one's going to outwork me as governor of this state," he said.
Graham said he believes Ohio's status as a swing state will mean its leaders have immense power to set the tenor and shape the direction of the 2020 presidential election.
"Ohio will be ground zero, as it always is," he said. "Ohio's governor will have a lot of say about the 2020 landscape."
The Trump administration's focus on conferring greater authority to state leadership will also mean that the next governor's policies have a more direct impact on the lives of everyday Ohioans, he added.
"America needs two things," he said. "We need to treat each other better, and we need to solve problems by working together. Mike, I don't think his worst critic can say that he hasn't been open-minded to working across the aisle. I've seen it with my own eyes."