Graham: Brokered convention would be unfair to Trump
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor How Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform MORE (R-S.C.), a harsh critic of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE, says a brokered party convention would not be fair to the Republican presidential front-runner and would have grave consequences for the party.

"He would leave — and he'd have a right to leave," Graham said in a podcast interview with former Democratic strategist David Axelrod.


"If he got two-thirds of what he needs, which I think he's well on his way to doing, for us to steal from him is not going to help the party," he continued.

"You can lose an election. We've lost an election before. But what I'm trying to do is focus on the day after we lose. Can we rebuild this party? Can we create a form of conservatism that's enticing to young people and people of color? I think we can. And I think that's the only hope for the Republican Party and, quite frankly, one of the big hopes of this country."

Graham, who ended his own presidential bid last December, added that the real estate mogul’s racially charged rhetoric and controversy involving the Ku Klux Klan are harming the GOP.

"He's trying to hedge his bets. I don't think he supports the KKK. I don't think he's a racist. But he's playing a political game," Graham said.

Graham was also asked whether he thought Trump was exploiting race for political gain.

"Definitely so far. But in the end, it'll be the demise of Donald Trump and the Republican Party if we don't watch it," he responded, adding later that Trump is a demagogue who’s “playing on people’s fears.”

He also said the Trump campaign is based on "xenophobia, race-baiting and with just a tinge of religious bigotry."