By Jesse Byrnes
Graham floats Rubio-Kasich ticket
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senators buck spending bill over Export-Import Bank Pelosi pans latest GOP stopgap spending offer MORE (R-S.C.) is urging leading Republican presidential candidates behind Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPost piles on: ‘Beyond debate’ Trump is unfit for office Clinton, Netanyahu have ‘in-depth’ conversation about US-Israeli ties NYT lays out argument against Trump for president MORE to unite in an effort to bring down the GOP front-runner.
"I think a Kasich-Rubio ticket would be great," Graham said late Sunday during an interview with Rita Cosby on WABC, describing Kasich as a "terrific" governor of Ohio and Rubio as a "very, very talented" senator from Florida.
"Rubio-Kasich, Kasich-Rubio — I think those combinations, if they could consolidate and come together, would be [a] very potent ticket in the fall and maybe help us stop Trump," Graham said on the program before also floating a potential "Rubio-Kasich-Cruz alliance."
Graham, who ended his White House bid in December, had thrown his support behind Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the GOP race on Saturday after taking fourth behind Trump, Rubio and Cruz in the South Carolina primary.
Trump won all 50 delegates in that primary, with nearly a third of the vote. He's also led in polls released earlier this month of voters in Nevada, which holds its GOP caucuses Tuesday.
Graham suggested that a Trump presidency would "change the party for the worse."
"Donald Trump would get wiped out in November, but really make it hard for the party to succeed in the future," Graham said Sunday, arguing that Kasich and Rubio could help bring out voters in Ohio and Florida, which are swing states in the general election.
"I didn't make it, Jeb didn't make it, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But I can tell you this, that I think I understand the nation pretty well in terms of what problems we have as Republicans," Graham said, ripping Trump's rhetoric on Hispanics and his "race baiting and religious bigotry."