POLITICS

Lindsey Graham Laments Trump 'Hijacking' GOP With Immigration Comments

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) complained Sunday that Donald Trump's presidential candidacy is hurting the Republican party.

Trump spent his Saturday continuing to trash Mexican immigrants, whom he has described as rapists and criminals.

"I think he's uninformed about the situation regarding the illegal immigrant population," Graham said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think he has hijacked the debate. I think he is a wrecking ball for the future of the Republican party with the Hispanic community and we need to push back."

Graham trails Trump in early polling and is more moderate on immigration than Trump and other GOP presidential candidates.

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He said Trump's ascendancy could potentially discredit the whole party.

"This is a defining moment in the future of the Republican party," Graham said. "We can't worry about what Donald Trump might do. We have to focus on what we should do. And as a party, we should reject what he says because it's not true. And if we don't reject it we've lost the moral authority, in my view, to govern this country."

Latino voters strongly favor Democrats, but Trump has claimed immigrants love him. He said Saturday that undocumented Mexican immigrants "wreak havoc on our population."

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