POLITICS
04/16/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Lindsey Graham: Richard Shelby Was 'Wrong' To Place Blanket Hold On Obama Nominees

In a blow to Republican insistence that they have played a non-obstructionist role in slowing down the Democratic legislative agenda, one of the GOP's senior senators acknowledged on Sunday that his party had gone too far in holding up presidential nominees.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the blanket hold that his colleague, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), placed last week on all of President Obama's nominees "wrong."

The South Carolina Republican added that he was glad Shelby eventually lifted the hold for most nominees before laying some blame at the feet of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for his own partisan maneuvering.

"What Senator Shelby did, in my opinion, was wrong," Graham said. "He's changed and I'm glad he did. Harry Reid has put more bills into the hopper and filled up the tree shedding out Republican amendments than anybody I know of but we are all in this together. And my plea on this program is to try and find ways to move forward in the war on terror."

Republican officials on the Hill weren't entirely pleased with Shelby for placing his hold on Obama's nominees, precisely because of the negative attention it brought. But they didn't publicly disparage the Alabama Republican. And when 27 nominees were confirmed on Thursday evening, one GOP Senate aide suggested to the Huffington Post that Shelby's hold had been effectively removed as a divisive political issue.