Warning that Hillary Clinton’s would “beat him like a drum,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Donald Trump’s “schtick” is giving the Republican Party problems.
“I think Mr. Trump’s approach, with all due respect, is not helping our party with women, particularly young women. And his rhetoric about illegal immigration is so over the top. If I was a young woman or a Hispanic watching this debate, I think I’d have been pretty turned off by Mr. Trump. And the question is, does it bleed over to all of us?” Graham told CNN on Monday.
The senator, who’s also competing for the GOP presidential nomination, said if Trump is the eventual primary winner “I’d hold my nose and vote for him but we’d get killed.”
“This message of his, 62 percent of the people said they would not vote for Donald Trump under any circumstance. I think that’s probably an accurate poll, and over time, will grow,” Graham said. “But it’s up to the party to decide how to deal with this. I really think to be in the next debate you ought to commit yourself to not going to run as an independent. Why would we want to give a spot to somebody who’s not sure if they’ll wind up running against us or not? This is up to party leadership in that regard.”
He added that the GOP should “distance ourselves from this rhetoric — people have been tiptoeing around criticizing Mr. Trump.”
“I think we should say this is not who we are as a party when it comes to women and it’s not a viable approach to immigration to keep the party viable in 2016 in a time when I think we have a good chance to win. But if I were a young woman, I would be offended. If I were Hispanic, I would think well, our party really doesn’t like us if we don’t push back against this rhetoric. I don’t think most illegal immigrants are rapists or drug dealers. I thinker that they are good, hardworking people and we need to create order out of chaos,” he said.
“…I’m being honest. I would support the Republican nominee. But if it’s Donald Trump, she wins in a landslide.”