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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case A pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' MORE (R-S.C.) on Thursday said Republicans should expect dire consequences if they nominate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE as their standard-bearer in the 2016 White House race.
Graham argued Trump would lose any general election he enters next year.
“I see [the GOP] getting killed if he is the nominee,” he told the Boston Herald.
“We are not going to elect a man president of the United States who has said the things he’s said about John McCain, who believes that most illegal immigrants are drug dealers and rapists, who has openly espoused the fact that he thinks the president of the United States was born in Kenya,” said Graham, himself a 2016 contender.
Graham criticized Trump for his long 2011 campaign demanding that President Obama prove he was born in the U.S.
“I am confident that President Obama was born in Hawaii and that he’s a decent guy who’s a bad president,” he said.
“But Donald Trump is a guy who went around the country and openly said he spent thousands of dollars ... claiming that the president was born in Kenya,” Graham said.
“I don’t see a birther becoming president,” he added.
Graham also attacked Trump for his feud with McCain, an Arizona senator and close friend of Graham's.
“John McCain is not a loser because he was captured, John McCain is a hero because he risked his life in the service of his country in an unpopular war,” he said.
“When it comes to the military member, military service and understanding the needs of our armed forces, there is no better voice in Washington than John McCain,” added Graham, who achieved the rank of colonel in the Air Force.
Trump sparked national controversy earlier this month by mocking McCain’s time as a prisoner during the Vietnam War.
“He's a war hero because he was captured,” Trump told hold Frank Luntz during the 2015 Family Leadership Summit on July 18. “I like people that weren’t captured.”
McCain and Trump have sparred over the businessman's anti-illegal-immigration rally in Phoenix on July 11.
McCain said earlier this month Trump “fired up the crazies” by conducting the event.