Elections

Graham: Carson clueless about Mideast

“I can’t understand what he’s saying half the time...So what can I say? I don't know. I'm just doing the best I can,” said Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., of fellow candidate Ben Carson on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” In photo, Graham spoke during a No Labels Problem Solver convention in Manchester, N.H., on Oct. 12, 2015.
“I can’t understand what he’s saying half the time...So what can I say? I don't know. I'm just doing the best I can,” said Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., of fellow candidate Ben Carson on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” In photo, Graham spoke during a No Labels Problem Solver convention in Manchester, N.H., on Oct. 12, 2015. AP

“He’s a brilliant guy but I don’t think he has a clue about what’s going on in the Mideast.”

That’s Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., talking about Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and rival for the Republican presidential nomination.

Graham made his remarks Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I can’t understand what he’s saying half the time...So what can I say? I don't know. I'm just doing the best I can,” said Graham.

Carson, who has never held elective office, has surged in recent polls, and is a favorite of the influential Christian right in Iowa, the nation’s first caucus state. Graham, a veteran member of Congress and military veteran, has struggled in polls.

Graham’s not even doing well in his home state, which holds the South’s first primary in February. The latest RealClearPolitics South Carolina poll average has him at 4 percent, in seventh place.

Asked about that, Graham noted that front-runner Donald Trump is doing well in Florida, home states of contenders Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

“Marco and Jeb are getting beat by Trump in Florida. National polls really mean zero right now,” he ssaid.

Watch New Hampshire, Graham advised. “If I do well in New Hampshire, I'll win South Carolina. If I don't do well in New Hampshire, I'll have to reevaluate,” he said.

Graham is averaging 0.7 percent in RealClearPolitics’ New Hampshire poll averages.

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid

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