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Graham on Cruz v. Trump: Like Being ‘Shot or Poisoned’

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Sen. Lindsey Graham sees it, making a binary choice between real estate mogul Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for the Republican presidential nominee is like picking between being “shot or poisoned.”  

“You get the same result,” the South Carolina Republican said Friday of the difference between the leading GOP contenders. To Graham, who already gave up on his own presidential bid, either of the candidates  loses to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  

“Dishonest beats crazy. Hillary Clinton’s going to be seen as a dishonest candidate. If we nominate crazy, which I think Donald Trump’s domestic and foreign policy is insane. If we nominate somebody who is a rigid ideologue we lose. Dishonest loses to normal,” Graham told reporters. “Just pick somebody normal. Pick somebody out of the phone book and we win.”  

Graham has endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and made campaign appearances for him.  

The South Carolina senator has been bashing Trump for weeks, calling him everything from “unelectable” to “xenophobic.” On Friday he focused on Cruz, pointing to the Texan’s calculations on issues ranging from immigration to health care to guns to abortion. “He’ll be easily portrayed as ideological to a fault,” Graham said.  

“I’m proudly pro-life. I think it would be very difficult to be elected president of the United States when you’re going to require a woman who has been raped to carry the child.”  

“I know how this movie ends,” Graham added. “They will eat his lunch. They will tear him apart. It will be the end of our chance to beat a very flawed candidate. Ted Cruz will not be able to bring this party together and get both parties to do hard things because he can’t work with his own party, much less the other party.”  

Contact Lesniewski at and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski.

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