Graham: Trump questions were an 'inquisition,' not a debate
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLate donor surges push election spending projections to new heights Pence seeks to lift GOP in battle for Senate Wall Street backed Biden campaign with million in 2020 cycle: report MORE (R-S.C.) is criticizing Fox News, saying the moderators of Thursday night's debate were too harsh with GOP rival Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline 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.


“At the end of the day, ask the man a question that explains his position and his solutions rather than a ten-minute question that describes him as the biggest bastard on the planet,” Graham quipped.

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 Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Trump fights for battleground Arizona Biden leads Trump by 12 in new national poll 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.