Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said it's important for members of his party to "speak up" in opposition to Donald Trump's controversial remarks on immigrants, adding that Trump's comments are not part of "the party I want to have."
"I'm not embarrassed I just think that everybody's got to speak up," the senator from South Carolina said on Boston Herald Radio.
"At the end of the day this is not the party I want to have. You have people in the party who say things sometimes that are against what I think the party stands for, so it's incumbent upon the rest to say, 'hey no, that's not the Republican Party that I want.'"
At his presidential campaign announcement event, Trump described the immigrants that come to the United States from Mexico as "rapists."
"They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us," Trump said. "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."
Graham added in the interview that he thought Trump was a "very successful man" and that the Republican Party "would get through" Trump.
He also said he believes the Republican Party had a lot to offer the African-American and Hispanic community.
"The Hispanic community, I think Republicans can do well in 2016. African-American and Hispanic families have not done very well in terms of Obama economics. What do we offer, it's got to be about what we offer and I think the middle class is never gonna get better in this country until you have a growing economy where people compete for labor."
Graham said the way some Republicans speak about immigration has hurt his party.
"The immigration issue has hurt us," said Graham. "I've said this for a long time. The way the Republican Party -- some elements -- have dealt with immigration, the way we've talk about immigrants, has hurt us. I just believe we've gone from 44% to 27% among Hispanics because of rhetoric like this."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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