Speaking before the Republican Jewish Coalition on Thursday, GOP presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted his opponents’ plans for immigration.
Graham delivered a sharp scolding of proposals by other Republicans — particularly Donald Trump — that would force the deportations of an estimated 11 million illegal residents. He said such messages targeted to the conservative base would likely cost the party victory in November “I believe that it’s not about turning out Evangelical Christians,” Graham told the Republican Jewish Coalition. “It’s about repairing the damage done by incredibly hateful rhetoric.”
Graham’s reference to turning out Evangelical Christians came after the speaker before him, fellow candidate Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, told the Jewish crowd that increasing turnout among evangelicals would be the party’s path to victory in .
The senator also called out Donald Trump as a cause for a possible Republican presidential loss due to Trump’s attitude towards Hispanics. “I believe that Donald Trump is destroying the Republican Party’s chance to win an election,” Graham told the applauding audience.
Graham also criticized Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, among others, who oppose any exceptions to their anti-abortion platforms. “If Mr. Cruz is the nominee, the election will be about rape,” he said. “And if you don’t think that, then you just don’t understand what the Democrats will do. It will be about the nominee of the Republican Party telling a woman who has been raped, you have to carry the child of the rapist. Good luck with that.”
He closed out his nearly 25-minute speech with a plea to the audience to revive his low polling candidacy saying: “I’m at 1%. “Help me stay in this race.”