Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBolton exit provokes questions about Trump shift on Iran The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Graham: US should consider strike on Iranian oil refineries after attack on Saudi Arabia MORE (R-S.C.) expressed shock on Monday that he is trailing his fellow GOP presidential candidates Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonHUD watchdog finds no misconduct by Carson in furniture controversy: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump ousts Bolton; GOP exhales after win in NC On The Money: Senate spending talks go off the rails | Trump officials vow to reform Fannie, Freddie if Congress doesn't act | Majority in poll see recession on the way MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE.

“On our side, you’ve got the No. 2 guy [who] tried to stab somebody at 14 and the No. 1 is high energy and crazy as hell,” Graham said, referencing first Carson and then Trump.


“How am I losing to these people?” he asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”  “Just look at Donald Trump’s foreign policy — what is it?”

“What is his game plan to destroy ISIL?” Graham asked, using an alternate acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). “Does anybody know? And he’s winning.”

Graham particularly took issue with Trump’s stance on Syria and Russia’s involvement in the ongoing civil war there.

Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaLet's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy Mattis dodges toughest question At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR MORE is not playing it well,” he said of the president’s handling of Russian leader Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinTaliban travels to Moscow after Trump declares talks dead Russians tune out Vladimir Putin Democrats must engage foreign policy to preserve liberal world order MORE and Syria.

“But to substitute Trump for Obama, what’s the difference?” Graham asked. “When it comes to Syria, what’s the difference between any of our own candidates and Barack Obama?”

“Dr. Carson is a fine man, but his foreign policy is hard for me to follow,” he added of the retired neurosurgeon.

Graham then compared Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) with Obama, saying each had a short Senate career before seeking the White House.

“[They are] young men in a hurry,” he quipped of the pair.

Graham then set his sights on the 2016 Democratic presidential field, arguing its candidates are no more electable than Carson or Trump.

“The No. 2 went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon. I don’t think he ever came back,” he said of Sen. Bernier Sanders (I-Vt.)

“The leader felt that she was flat broke after her husband was president for eight years,” Graham added of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDershowitz: 'Too many politicians are being subject to criminal prosecution' The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Democrats spar over electoral appeal of 'Medicare for All' MORE and former President Bill Clinton. “Maybe why they stole the china.”

The Republican establishment is struggling with a crop of presidential contenders who lack political experience but inspire fervor with voters.

Carson, Trump and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have all eclipsed more traditional candidates in support across multiple national polls. Graham, in the meantime, is fourth from last in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls with less than 1 percent support.