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S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham skewers his presidential choice, Ted Cruz and his party

S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham
S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham Observer file photo

As presidential endorsements go, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz could hope for much better than what he got from South Carolina’s senior senator last week.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who mothballed his own campaign for the Republican nomination weeks ago, went on the satire news show “The Daily Show” and told host Trevor Noah that he’s on the “Ted train.”

But then he had nothing nice to say about the Texas senator, the last of two Republican challengers to frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump.

Noah showed a video of Graham saying: “If you killed Ted Cruz in the Senate and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you.”

Noah asked: “So it’s safe to say that you are – were – not a fan of Ted Cruz?”

Graham responded: “I don’t dislike Ted. Ted and I have a lot of differences. He’s my 15th choice. What can I say? He’s not completely crazy.”

Noah: “So he’s partially crazy?”

Graham: “That works in Washington – you’ve got Bernie,” referring to Democrat candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Graham called his party “completely screwed up ... If it was up to me we wouldn’t nominate anyone. We’d start all over again. It’s called Democracy. Welcome to America.”

So, Noah asked, what did Graham like about Cruz?

“That he’s not Donald Trump,” Graham responded to laughs and cheers. “ ... If Donald Trump carries the banner of my party, I think it will taint conservatism for generations to come.”

Graham, who’s represented South Carolina since 2003, announced his presidential campaign in May last year. By December, he’d dropped out. Initially he endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. But after Bush quit, Graham endorsed Cruz.

Sort of.

He said he really liked Ohio Gov. John Kasich. And he described Trump’s campaign as “opportunistic, race baiting, religious bigotry and xenophobic.”

Graham asked Noah, a comedian from South Africa, if he’s an American citizen. “No, I am not,” Noah said.

The senator then asked Noah if he had a green card. “No, I do not,” Noah said. Graham suggested he get one and “in a hurry. If Trump wins, your days are numbered, pal.”

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