South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R), who will take on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in the state's primary in 2014, called Graham a "community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood" on Tuesday.
In a conference call with supporters, Bright charged Graham with not paying enough attention to the people of South Carolina. "During the [congressional] recess, when I would hope that he would be around folks in South Carolina, getting their feelings on so many issues that affect their lives, he has instead chosen to take his time to be a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood, and that concerns me," Bright said, according to The State.
When asked for a response to the accusation, Graham's campaign sent out a statement highlighting the South Carolina senator's conservatism. "Lindsey Graham has a proven track record of protecting our conservative values and fighting for South Carolina. He was ranked in the top 5 budget cutters in the Senate by the National Taxpayer's Union Foundation, called an 'ACU Conservative' with a 92 score by the American Conservative Union, recognized as the Pro-life Legislator of the Year by SC Citizens for Life, awarded the highest honor given by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard for supporting our military, and maintains an 'A' rating from the National Rifle Association," Graham spokesman Tate Zeigler wrote.
Graham traveled to Egypt with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) earlier this month, after the country's military overthrew Mohammed Morsi. While there, Graham and McCain met with different sides in the political conflict -- Muslim Brotherhood officials, Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei. Of the meeting with Brotherhood officials, McCain told The Daily Beast that "we were not negotiating, we were just saying what we thought had to be done to get back to the negotiating table."
Bright's comments indicate that Graham, who holds conservative positions on many issues, will face challenges from the right as he runs for reelection with three primary opponents. Businessman Richard Cash and businesswoman and author Nancy Mace are also challenging Graham.
Graham has also faced criticism from the tea party over his support for the Senate immigration bill. He has opposed Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) filibuster over President Barack Obama's civil liberties policies, which drew fire from Mace.