From USA TODAY (January 21, 2016):
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham lambasted his Republican Party’s presidential front-runners Thursday, telling reporters at the Capitol that nominating Donald Trump or Ted Cruz could prove fatal for his party.
“It’s like being shot or poisoned. What does it really matter?” Graham said.
From CNN (March 18, 2016):
In a sign of just how much the Republican presidential primary has turned the party on its head, Sen. Lindsey Graham will headline a fundraiser on Monday in support of Ted Cruz.
Graham told CNN that while the Texas senator is not his preferred candidate, he’s “the best alternative to Donald Trump,” and he said he will “help Ted in every way I can.”
Support for Cruz is an about-face for the South Carolina senator, who compared nominating GOP front-runner Donald Trump or Cruz to being shot or poisoned. He recently mocked Cruz’s unpopularity among his colleagues, saying earlier this month: “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”
“He’s certainly not my preference, but he’s a reliable Republican, conservative, which I’ve had many differences with,” the South Carolina Republican said.
When asked about his dramatic change in stance toward Cruz, Graham admitted that his Senate colleague is “not well liked,” but said, “I have doubts about Mr. Trump, I don’t think he’s a Republican, I don’t think he’s a conservative, I think his campaign’s built on xenophobia, race-baiting and religious bigotry, I think he’d be a disaster for our party and as Senator Cruz would not be my first choice, I think he is a Republican conservative who I could support.”