Lindsey Graham said Friday he thinks Ben Carson is a "brilliant guy," but he has "no clue" about the Middle East, and he's not sure what else he can say about the retired neurosurgeon's rise in the GOP polls.
"He's a lovely man, he's a great doctor, and everybody else thinks we suck," the South Carolina Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program,
drawing laughs from host Joe Scarborough and the panel.
"That's all I know what to tell you. 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."
Carson, along with GOP front-runner Donald Trump, is defeating Graham in polls in his state, and Graham said Trump is ahead because he's captured the frustration of Republicans.
"But at the end of the day, there's Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina," said Graham. "People eventually are going to vote."
Meanwhile, Graham said he is "not worried" at this time, but the New Hampshire primary could be a game-changer.
"If I do well in New Hampshire, I'll win South Carolina," said Graham. "If I don't do well in New Hampshire, I'll have to reevaluate."
Graham also drew laughs when Scarborough asked him if he'd heard that mainstream Republican candidates like himself, Jeb Bush and others should band together to fight Trump for the nomination.
"No," he simply replied, and then to other candidates: "In case you're watching the show, this is a good idea."
Graham also addressed world events, including telling the show that as chairman of the Senate's Foreign Operations Subcommittee on Appropriations he plans to threaten cutting money off for Palestinian aid, and blaming the current strife on there being a vacuum of leadership.
"I think the Palestinians believe they can challenge Israel, stab people, go to the U.N. to get state status and the world community is not going to do much about it," he said, emphasizing that the United States should support Israel.
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