The story painted over the last several months has been one of Sen. Lindsey Graham in trouble with his own party for suggesting conservatives should take a seat at the table for reforms on immigration, energy, and detainees.

But there’s a trump card that Graham is holding. One that will keep him in office as long as he wants to use it: Sen. Jim DeMint.

There’s a reason that no serious candidates challenged Graham in 2008, when he’d already taken shots for his immigration stance and was openly supportive of energy reform.

DeMint stood by his fellow senator. With DeMint as the new “it” boy, his support may be more important than ever to promise a relatively quiet primary race in 2014.

In a report Today at The Hill, DeMint addressed the criticism from local Republicans who censured Graham late last year.

“I think he got a bad rap,” DeMint said when asked about the attacks on Graham back home. “There are a lot of people up here who are the problem, but it ain’t Lindsey Graham.”

“He is a player and he makes a difference and I don’t expect people to agree with me all the time because I am not always right,” he added.