POLITICS

Lindsey Graham On The 2016 Election: 'My Party Is Completely Screwed Up'

"If Donald Trump carries the banner of my party, I think it taints conservatism for generations to come.”

For Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the only thing worse than the prospect of Ted Cruz as president is the prospect of Donald Trump as president.

Graham begrudgingly expressed his support for Cruz in an interview with Trevor Noah on Wednesday night, telling "The Daily Show" host that the Texas senator was his "15th choice" to win the GOP nomination.

Graham ultimately concluded that Cruz should be the nominee because "he's not Trump."

And that's where things got interesting.

"If Donald Trump carries the banner of my party," Graham said, "I think it taints conservatism for generations to come. I think his campaign is opportunistic, race-baiting, religious bigotry, xenophobia. Other than that, he’d be a good nominee."

Noah played a short video clip from late January in which Graham, who was himself a candidate earlier in the presidential race, was asked if he preferred a Cruz nomination or a Trump nomination.

“That’s... like [asking if I'd rather be] shot or poisoned," Graham responded in the video, "What does it really matter?”

Asked by Noah which candidate is doing the shooting and which is the poison, Graham answered, "Donald is like being shot in the head. You might find an antidote to poisoning, I don’t know, but maybe there’s time."

“I’m saying my party is completely screwed up for the moment,” he added.

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