Dec 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Graham on Trump's migrant remarks: "I could care less"

Senator Lindsey Graham attends a hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, United States on December 5, 2023.

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Capitol Hill earlier this month. Photo: Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday defended former President Trump's border policy as he shrugged off remarks that undocumented immigrants were "poisoning the blood of our country."

Driving the news: NBC's Kristen Welker noted to Graham on "Meet the Press" that the Biden campaign accused Trump of "parroting Adolf Hitler" by using such language.

What he's saying: "We're talking about language. I could care less what language people use as long as we get it right," said Graham, while attacking President Biden's border policy.

  • "I believe in legal immigration. I have no animosity toward people trying to come to our country. I have animosity against terrorists and against drug dealers," he continued.
  • "If you think you're going to win the debate on illegal immigration by picking a line out of the Trump speech, most Americans understand the game has to change, that we're under threat, that we're going to get attacked, that our border has completely been obliterated," he added.
  • "So, if you're talking about the language Trump uses rather than trying to fix it, that's a losing strategy for the Biden administration."

Of note: Welker pressed Graham on whether he thought 2024 Republican presidential primary front-runner Trump would appeal to more people if he chose different words to describe immigration issues.

  • "The president has a way of talking sometimes I disagree with," he said of Trump. "But he actually delivered on the border. People are looking for results. If the only thing you want to talk about on immigration is the way Donald Trump talks, you're missing a lot."

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