Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweaked Mitt Romney's campaign today for spending too much time fundraising and not enough on the campaign trail.
"I think what Romney needs to do is get into Virginia and run for sheriff," Graham told reporters after a noontime vote on Capitol Hill. "This is not rocket science. "
Graham's comments come less than a day after the GOP presidential nominee stood by his controversial remarks at a closed-door fundraiser in an interview with Fox News. On Monday, the liberal magazine Mother Jones released a hidden-tape recording of Romney speaking candidly at a May fundraiser in Florida.
Romney told donors he believes the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay income tax view themselves as "victims" and are "dependent on government." His remarks rocked the presidential race, giving Democrats a new line of attack with fewer than 50 days to go before Election Day.
For the most part, Senate Republicans told reporters they stand by Romney's characterization — even if it was inarticulate. But Graham, though not necessarily critical of Romney's revealed remarks, expressed dismay with the Republican presidential nominee's broader strategy.
And the South Carolina Republican was adamant that Romney cut down on his attendance at fundraisers and increase his presence on the trail, arguing that the candidate's wife is a "very intriguing personality" who could raise money for the campaign instead.
"What I'd like to see Mitt do is talk aggressively about why the economy is broken and how to fix it," Graham said. "Talk in places it really does matter. This is our election to lose.
"I think it's not what he said at a fundraiser; I think it's what he does as a candidate," he said. "If I were Mitt Romney, no person in Virginia could go very long without meeting me."