WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose own quest for the GOP presidential nomination ended unsuccessfully, on Thursday called Donald Trump a "nut job" who likely will win the party's nod, but lose in November's general election.
"He's just generally a loser as a person and a candidate," the South Carolina senator told reporters, adding, "You can't nominate a nut job and lose, and expect it doesn't have consequences."
Asked whether he'd endorse the billionaire businessman if nominated, Graham said, "I've got a ticket on the Titanic. So I am like on the team that bought a ticket on the Titanic after we saw the movie. This is what happens if you nominate Trump."
"I think he's going to lose, he's going to lose badly. And I think all the things that we care about are going to be locked in place, and she's going to get to pick Supreme Court nominees," he said of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner.
He added that Clinton also would protect President Barack Obama's health care law, block the Keystone XL pipeline and ensure federal funds for Planned Parenthood.
Speaking again of Trump, Graham said: "He's ill-suited for the job. What Hispanic person would vote for the Republican Party when the leader of the party has just called illegal immigrants as a group mostly rapists and drug dealers, and is going to deport 11 million people including American-born children? Everybody in the Hispanic community knows at least one illegal immigrant, like I do."
Trump and Graham have engaged in name-calling in the past, and last year, Trump gave out Graham's private cell phone number.