Graham on Romney ‘gifts’ remark: ‘When you’re in a hole, stop digging’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday blasted Republican nominee Mitt Romney's assertion that Democratic "gifts" to minorities had helped them win the election.

"We’re in a big hole, we’re not getting out of it by comments like that," Graham said on NBC's “Meet the Press.” “When you’re in a hole, stop digging. He keeps digging.”

In a Wednesday call with donors, Romney cited Obama’s healthcare reform law and executive order stopping the deportation of some illegal immigrants as “gifts” which motivated voters to back the president.

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“The President’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift — so he made a big effort on small things,” said Romney.

Graham on Sunday said that despite disappointment with the Obama administration, Hispanic voters overwhelmingly backed the president because he was the “lesser of two evils.” 

“Self-deportation pushed by Mitt Romney hurt our chances. We’re in a death spiral with Hispanic voters because of our rhetoric on immigration and our candidate Romney and the primaries dug the hole deeper,” he continued.

Graham said Republicans should focus their attention again on the economy.

“Most people who are on public assistance don’t have a character flaw, they just have a tough life. I want to create more jobs and the focus on that should be on how to create more jobs and not demonize those who find themselves in a hard time,” Graham said. “Our party can adjust, and conservative is an asset, but rhetoric like this keeps digging a hole for the Republican party and if we don’t stop digging we’re going to never get out of it.”