Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamComey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record Graham: There are 'no good choices left' with North Korea MORE (R-S.C.) is criticizing Fox News, saying the moderators of Thursday night's debate were too harsh with GOP rival Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFirst 100 days: A true reflection of Trump, poor reflection of America Fox poll: Trump approval below 50 percent Pelosi gives Trump an incomplete for first 100 days MORE.
“This was more of an inquisition than it was a debate,” Graham said on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” on Friday morning. “It was a missed opportunity to talk about things that really mattered.”
Graham charged that debate moderators Bret Baier, Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly were particularly unfair in their questioning of Trump, the outspoken billionaire who is leading many GOP polls.
The South Carolina lawmaker said Thursday night’s contest resulted in a lost chance at addressing crucial issues such as immigration reform.
“Did you really understand our position on immigration after this debate?” Graham asked.
Graham, though, also criticized Trump's stance on illegal immigration.
“Mexico is not making these people come here,” he said of illegal immigrants. “They’re coming here because they want to. They live in hellholes and they want a better life.
“The whole construct that they are sending their worst I reject,” Graham added, rebuking Trump’s frequent claims that many illegal immigrants are unwanted in their home countries and bringing crime to the U.S.
Graham said Trump’s rhetoric on issues such as immigration will make him incapable of winning the general election in 2016.
“Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonLawmakers targeted as district politics shift Want a tremendous deal on infrastructure spending? Suspend Davis-Bacon Constitutional amendment could vastly improve campaign finance MORE would beat Trump like a drum,” Graham said of the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. “I don’t think so, I know so.”
Graham failed to make the main stage with the top 10 Republican contenders, participating instead in an earlier debate with the other GOP nominees who fell outside the top 10.