Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is known for telling it like he sees it, but Thursday afternoon, battling a cold that has made his voice hoarse, we may have finally found “Peak Lindsey”.
The onetime presidential contender gave a seven-minute diatribe in the Capitol basement, lambasting the Republican presidential frontrunner with enough pejoratives that he confided he was “literally running out of adjectives” to impugn Donald Trump.
Why will Trump lose the general election? “Because he’s just generally a loser as a person and a candidate,” Graham said.
Pressed later about why Trump would lose, Graham raised his voice to make his point: “Why will he lose???? Because he’s ill-suited for the job!!!”
Graham, who endorsed Jeb Bush after dropping out, has not yet backed another candidate in the wake of the ex-governor’s own withdrawal. Graham sheepishly admitted he would endorse Trump if he wins the nomination: “I’ve got a ticket on the Titanic. So I am like on the team that bought a ticket on the Titanic, after we saw the movie. This is what happens if you nominate Trump.”
Graham confided to the gathered congressional press corps that some of his jokes were a preview of a routine he would deliver Thursday night at the Washington Press Club’s annual congressional gala, where he and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) are the after-dinner entertainers.
On a slightly serious note, Graham said that he is hitting hyperbolic levels to deliver the message to Republican voters that the consequences of losing the White House again could impact an entire generation to come.
“I think he’s going to lose and he’s going to lose badly. And I think all the things that we care about are going to be locked in place,” he said. “So don’t look at me to be the guy who stops [Hillary Clinton] from being president of the United States. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t nominate a nut job and lose, and expect it doesn’t have consequences.”
Asked if he thought Trump would win the nomination, a dejected Graham said, “Yeah, pretty much so.”
Other highlights from Graham’s unloading on the likely impact of a Trump nomination:
“I think we’re likely to lose the last best chance in a long time to win the White House. I think that the consequences of us losing are going to be monumental for domestic and foreign policy, and the [Supreme Court],” he opined.
“It’s worse than that. We’re going to continue a foreign policy that needs to be changed, Obamacare will be left intact, the Keystone Pipeline won’t be built, Planned Parenthood will continue to be funded. And to say that you’re going to lose the White House and prevent all those things from happening is the height of dishonesty,” he added.
“So I’m trying to be honest with the Republican Party and be the opposite of Ted Cruz. Here’s the consequences of losing the election to Hillary Clinton: She’s going to pick qualified people who are liberal. She’s going to continue Obamacare. She’s going to continue to fund Planned Parenthood.”