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Graham: Trump Missed 'Defining Moment' on Muslim Question

Image: Graham: Trump Missed 'Defining Moment' on Muslim Question
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By    |   Friday, 18 Sep 2015 03:19 PM

It was "inappropriate" of Donald Trump to allow a statement made at a town hall meeting about President Barack Obama's birthplace and religion to go unchecked, fellow GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said Friday.

"You need to look the guy in the eye and say, 'listen, I don't agree with you, I don't appreciate what you said,'" the South Carolina senator told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on her noon news program. "You just go right at him and say 'you know, I don't buy this idea about President Obama being a Muslim.'"

Graham said he had the same thing happen to him at an Iowa stop, where "a guy used the 'N' word and was very derogatory toward President Obama and Muslims."

Story continues below video.


The senator continued that while he has disagreed with the president on plenty of policy decisions, he does not doubt either his religious faith, his patriotism, or his birthplace.

"I believe that he is a man of his own faith and I think he's a good man," Graham said. "He and his wife have represented our country well in terms of being a family role model."

And while the Trump campaign has said that the GOP front-runner was responding to the latter part of the audience member's question and ignoring the rest, Graham said that he didn't believe that, and by not responding, Trump missed a key opportunity.

"You had a chance to show who you were," said Graham."This happens to all of us. It happened to John McCain. You have to push back. We are trying to be the leader of a nation here... we are looking for a leader who will push back against this kind of hateful stuff on both sides of the aisle."

He called the incident a "defining moment" for Trump and all the candidates.

He also said Trump, in many ways, is responsible for such statements, after "creating the idea that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, saying that most illegal immigrants are rapists and drug dealers – he's playing into this hateful narrative. It's now time for him to set it right."

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It was "inappropriate" of Donald Trump to allow a statement made at a town hall meeting about President Barack Obama's birthplace and religion to go unchecked, fellow GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said Friday.
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2015-19-18
Friday, 18 Sep 2015 03:19 PM
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