Lindsey Graham on MSNBC: ‘How am I losing to these people?’


Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham boggled at his competition Monday, wondering how he was trailing at 11th place in the polls.

“How am I losing to these people?” he said, during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, during which he also called former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush “whiny.”

“Just look at Donald Trump‘s foreign policy. What is it?” Graham said. “What is he going to do about (Islamic State)? What is it? What is it? What is his game plan to destroy ISIL? Does anybody know?

“…(T)o substitute Trump for Obama, what’s the difference?” he added. “When it comes to Syria, what’s the difference between any of our own candidates and Barack Obama?”

Graham, a U.S. senator from South Carolina since 2003, stands at 0.8 percent, according to Huffington Post’s average of polls for the 2016 national Republican primary.

Panelist John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics referred to Trump and pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who also has never held elective office, and asked what it said about the GOP “that those two guys are the consistent top tier at this point, in this late point, in the Republican nominating contest?”

“This outsider phenomenon is so bad that we have to get somebody new and different, not tainted by the process,” Graham said. “But here is what I think. I think experience will begin to matter the closer we get to the election.

“Does it matter if you have any experience to be commander in chief?” he said. “Like, Ben Carson said he would have declared energy independence as the reactions of 9/11. That’s kind of different. You know, ‘I hereby declare,’ you know, bullhorn out here at the World Trade Center, ‘I hereby declare energy independence’ is not what I would be looking for.

“Dr. Carson is a fine man, but his foreign policy is hard for me to follow,” Graham said.

Graham later was asked about Bush’s “tone (and) presence on the campaign trail.”

“It did come across as a bit whiny,” Graham said. “At the end of the day, I think Jeb is a very viable candidate; he is reengineering his campaign.”

Last week, Bush decided to significantly cut his campaign spending, including staff pay decreases. He is currently at fourth in the polls among GOP contenders, trailing behind Trump, Carson and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

“For all of us if we don’t step up our game on the establishment side, whatever you want to call it, and start challenging these guys more effectively, I think we’re letting the cause down because Donald Trump will get killed in a general election … Hillary Clinton will mop up the floor with this guy.”

The video can be watched here.


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