Lindsey Graham: Trump Is Playing the Race Card

Tuesday in Washington, DC, on Capitol Hill when asked about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s comments about U.S. Federal Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, the judge presiding over the lawsuits involving Trump University, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)  said,”It is clear to me that he’s playing the race card here and trying to detract from the substance of a lawsuit.”

Graham said, “I will write somebody in but I am not supporting Mr. Trump or Hillary Clinton. These are two very flawed choices. I have been a lawyer all my life, and I have never heard anything like this before to suggest that a judge cannot fairly decide a case because of where his parents were born. That’s a campaign with plenty of lows against who we are as people. It is un-American and I will have no part of it. If you are comfortable with that kind of rhetoric, that says more about you than it does me.

He continued, “I think what I am trying to say that I can understand not voting for Hillary Clinton because she would be a third term on the presidency. There will come a point in time that what Mr. Trump is offering the country—is it good for the party or the country? Is it good for the country to have somebody running for president who suggests that a federal judge should step aside because his parents were born in Mexico with no other evidence at all that this judge is biassed? There is a reason that the lawyers in the case have a challenge of the judge’s ability to hear this case based on his ethnic background. If a lawyer trying to get this judge remove from the case because of his Mexican heritage, there will be subject to be sanctioned. There is a process to get a judge removed from a case. The reason that’s a legal process has not been used—speaks volumes. Mr. Trump is trying to get or trying to ruin this man’s life. I think unfairly. If you really believe the judge cannot fairly hear his case and make a motion under the rule of law and the reason that they have not made this motion is because any lawyers challenge that the judge could not hear the case because his parents were born in Mexico, they would risk risk their reputation and sanction and potentially be disbarred.”

He added, “There comes a point where we have to understand it is not just about the 2016 race but it is about the future of the party. I would like to support our nominee, I just cannot. I would love to be able to support our nominee. I think his comments were racist and I don’t think that Donald, um personally would — is a racist person and he’s not going to refuse to hire somebody because of the color of their skin or the background. He’s playing the race card. It is clear to me that he’s playing the race card here and trying to detract from the substance of a lawsuit and talk about the background of the judge, and I don’t want to go there. Every person in the Republican party has got to make their own decision. I am going to focus on the House and Senate. I am going to focus on helping my colleagues in the house and the senate.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN