Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip MORE said John Kasich is the best Republican presidential candidate but that he can't win the nomination, which is why the South Carolina Republican is backing Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Senate Republicans air complaints to Trump administration on trade deal MORE.

“I think John Kasich would be the best nominee, but he doesn't have a chance,” Graham said during an appearance Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." 

“John Kasich's problem is he is an insider in an outsider year and nobody seems to want to buy that,” he added.  

Graham signaled his support for Cruz last week, when news emerged he would be hosting a fundraiser for him. This comes after harsh comments Graham made about his Senate colleague, including while running against the Texas senator in his own White house bid.
Graham has argued that while he has differences with Cruz (joking the runner-up in delegates was his "15th choice" in the race), he's the best-positioned Republican other than Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE.

"I think he'd make a better president than Trump for damn sure, and I think he'd take the country in a new direction other than Clinton," Graham said. 

Asked if Kasich would make a better president than Cruz, Graham said, "I think so." 

He called Trump a "con man" and blasted the GOP front-runner for his support of waterboarding in the wake of this week's terrorist attacks in Brussels. 
"I have differences with Ted Cruz that are well known, but I think we share the same political DNA and at the end of the day I think he's a reliable Republican conservative and Mr. Trump is not," Graham said.

Graham predicted that Republicans "probably will" lose in 2016, saying Trump would be defeated by Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNo, the polls aren't wrong — but you have to know what to look for How to shut down fake Republican outrage over 'spying' on Trump More than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls MORE while Cruz represented "a fighting chance" for Republicans.
"I'm not going to stand behind a guy that gets David Duke's support," Graham said of Trump. "So it's no longer about winning the election for me, it's trying to salvage a party that I love and conservatism as I know it."