Lindsey Graham: Donald Trump 'Selling Fear and Prejudice'

South Carolina senator doesn't think GOP should "hire" Trump.

ByABC News
July 26, 2015, 1:44 PM

— -- Lindsey Graham might thank Donald Trump for getting him to finally buy a new phone, but the South Carolina senator said today he still doesn't think the Republican Party should "hire" the real estate mogul as its presidential candidate.

Graham made national headlines last week when he destroyed his old-school cell phone after Trump read the number aloud on national TV, but Graham had more just jokes for his opponent in the race for GOP presidential nomination.

Speaking exclusively with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on "This Week," the senator said he sees great dangers in continuing to support Trump, the current Republican frontrunner in the polls.

"I would ask the Republican Party why most major companies are firing Mr. Trump, and I don't think we should hire him," Graham said.

"I'm not taking on voters, I am taking on an idea that I think he's appealing to the dark side of American politics," he added. "He is not offering solutions to hard, complicated problems. He is basically selling fear and prejudice."

Graham said he believes there’s a market in both political parties for candidates who say "outrageous" things.

"There's a market in my party for people if you say that [President] Obama’s not born in America -- that he's actually born in Kenya -- there are people who want to believe that,” he said.

“If you said [former President George W.] Bush was a war criminal or he's stupid, there's a market for that on the other side," Graham later added.

On what Trump offers the party, Graham argued that "he's appealing to fear and prejudice, and there's a market for that." But he said he believes that is not good for the country, even though there may be a "market" for it.

Graham acknowledged that, despite his petition to the RNC to allow all 16 candidates a place on the debate stage, his standing in national public opinion polls likely will not earn him a spot in the first televised Republican debate on August 6. Still, Graham appeared hopeful about his plan to win over primary voters.

“I'm going to talk to people in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina about the threats we face, why I’m the best qualified to be commander-in-chief,“ Graham said. “And why Mr. Trump, while he says a lot of controversial and loud things, is not qualified to be commander-in-chief, and he cannot win an election that we cannot afford to lose,” he added.

A notorious flip-phone devotee, Graham -- who said first on "This Week" he has upgraded to an iPhone after Trump announced his cell phone number to the world -- said he did have one thing to thank The Donald for.

“Donald Trump's done something my staff could never get me to do, and that's get a new phone - so thanks, Donald,” he joked.

It’s official: Sen. Lindsey Graham has a new cell phone.

"I don’t know if I'm going to email, but I do have an iPhone," the 2016 Republican presidential candidate, who previously said he’s never sent an e-mail before, told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday.

A notorious flip-phone devotee, last week the senator destroyed his old-school phone after primary opponent Donald Trump read the cell number aloud during a televised speech before a crowd in Graham’s home state of South Carolina.

"Donald Trump's done something my staff could never get me to do, and that's get a new phone -- so thanks, Donald," Graham joked.