HH: I begin this show with United States Senator Lindsey Graham, who when last I saw him at a super secret conspiracy meeting at Sea Island, Georgia, that was designed to completely arrange all the world events for the future, he managed to say I had a very low-rated radio show from the front of the room. Hello, Senator Graham, how are you?
LG: It was great to be with my fellow conspirators. How are you doing?
HH: I’m good. Have you seen how the right wing says that we were at this…
LG: It’s crazy. It is, I’m just…
LG: Only in America.
HH: Arthur Brooks, leading conspirator.
LG: I think, yeah, I know. I mean, I was there with you, right? We had dinner.
HH: We had dinner. All right, Senator, you have come out for, I said Donald Trump is indeed the great unifier.
LG: Yes, he has.
HH: He has brought Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz together. Tell people about that.
LG: Only Donald could do this. If you had told me a month ago this would happen, I would have thought you were crazy. But you know, Ted is the most viable alternative to Trump. Trump’s a disaster for the party. I don’t think he’s a conservative. I think Ted Cruz is, you know, a reliable Republican conservative whom I have many differences with, but I think he’d carry the party banner better than Trump.
HH: Can Ted Cruz win in the fall, and can Donald Trump win in the fall?
LG: Trump? No, not, I mean, you’re looking at an absolute wipeout. He’s tied in Utah (laughing). There’s a poll out today, and if we’re not winning Utah, we’re not going to win anywhere.
HH: That takes some doing, actually.
LG: I think Ted could be very competitive.
HH: That takes some doing to be tied in Utah.
LG: Yeah, I don’t know how you get there from here. I guess you say that maybe Mitt Romney’s not a Mormon. That might lead you to 38% in Utah. I mean, so Donald, what is it about Mitt that you doubt, in terms of his Mormonism?
HH: Yeah. So Mitt Romney has come out…
LG: So if you drink coffee, and when nobody’s looking, I mean, what does he do?
HH: It’s, you know, there is a divide among the LDS about Diet Coke, and I do believe that Mitt Romney comes down on the Diet Coke side of it.
LG: (laughing) Okay.
HH: But let’s talk about Mitt Romney making calls for Ted Cruz, which he’s doing. He’s going to vote for Ted Cruz tomorrow. There’s a large LDS population in Arizona, but there’s also a lot of dead votes in Arizona, a lot of people, I’ll talk to Mark Brnovich later, voted early in Arizona. What do you hear about Arizona whether or not that will go for Donald Trump or go for Ted Cruz?
LG: It’ll most likely go for Trump, because you’ve got three people in the race. And immigration, you know, the people in Arizona are on the front lines of the illegal immigration. I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the ranchers and for the people who deal with illegal immigration. It’s a real problem in Arizona, and that’s a hot button issue. And so my hope is that Ted can get to 50% to secure all the Utah delegates. And I like John Kasich. He’s a great guy, the most electable conservative. I just don’t see where John playing in Utah helps the overall cause.
HH: All right, so let’s work out the scoreboard. And I remain Belgium. I remain everyone invited to the show.
HH: But let’s just say that Ted Cruz…
LG: Only in Flanders? Or what part of Belgium are we coming from?
HH: (laughing) Whichever one is occupied by each of the powers in turn. Let’s say Ted Cruz wins Utah and Donald Trump wins Arizona tomorrow as is expected. How do you see the map playing out? And do you see an open convention, Senator Lindsey Graham?
LG: Yeah, I think you know, if we can get it to a one on one race, you know, if Ted and John Kasich can work together, maybe John does better in Pennsylvania. Without some coordinated effort, I don’t know if we can stop Trump. Either we consolidate behind Ted, this is an outsider year, John Kasich is viewed as an inside. Ted has proven to be the most viable alternative. So there’s two options here. Ted and John Kasich work together, picking states where one can do better than the other, or we consolidate behind Ted. One of those two ways are the only way I know to beat, keep Donald Trump below 1,237.
HH: Now you ran a campaign for a while, so you know, John Weaver is running John Kasich’s campaign. You know the guys running Team Cruz as well. I’m not quite sure if Cory and Hope are about the only people around Donald Trump that I know of. Are there conversations, to your knowledge, underway between the Cruz people and the Kasich people?
LG: No. No, not that I know of. And all I can say is they’ve all done far better than I’ve done, but I got out, because you know, my time just wasn’t my time, and I really do care about winning in 2016 and having a viable Republican Party for decades to come. And I think there’s a lot at risk, Hugh. You know, you’ve been terrific on foreign policy. I don’t understand where Donald Trump’s coming from on foreign policy. He’s more of an isolationist one day, and an interventionist the next. And I just think with Ted, he’s a reliable friend of Israel. Ted’s foreign policy is much closer to mine, because I don’t understand Trump’s, and there’s a lot at stake here. I hope we realize that if Donald Trump carries the banner of the Republican Party. I think we get creamed in 2016, and it will affect us for a long time to come.
HH: It does look that way. But how do you account for the very passionate 35-40% he has in every state? What is that vote, in your opinion, Lindsey Graham?
LG: Well, I’m not Dr. Phil, but it’s, you know, I don’t think you have to be too psychologist to understand that people believe Washington is broken. They see Donald Trump as a successful businessman who is not owned by anybody, who is echoing their concerns and fears about illegal immigration, who seems to be an antidote to Obama’s weakness. The entire package is a guy that’s been successful in the private sector, not beholding to anyone, a tough guy to replace a weak guy, a non-politician to replace a bunch of people like me. I understand the attraction. He’s going to be tough on immigration. He’s going to be tough on ISIL. I think that’s the attraction of Donald Trump. I don’t think the people who support him are bad people. I just think that’s what they’re drawn to.
HH: Now it goes from these two states tomorrow, Utah and Arizona, and I’m not ruling out a Ted Cruz win in Arizona. There is some sort of a surge there. But there are lot of dead votes there that might have gone to him.
LG: Right. Probably so.
HH: But it goes up to Wisconsin next on April the 4th. That’s the next big, and it will be really sort of an Armageddon primary. Any indication that you have picked up about where Scott Walker is in this, and how that state plays?
LG: Well, he’s sort of the Mitt Romney of Wisconsin. I think when he speaks, people will listen. And from a John Kasich’s point of view, you know, if you don’t make it in Wisconsin, I mean, John’s got to do one of two things – coordinate with Ted so that they don’t compete against each other in states where one can do better than the other, or rally behind Ted, because I just don’t see him breaking out in this atmosphere. But if he can, say, win Wisconsin, then I guess everybody has to reevaluate. But if Kasich doesn’t win Wisconsin, you know, I hope he would reconsider taking this as the three-way person primary.
HH: Now don’t you, my assessment is, actually, Cruz has to win Wisconsin, that John Kasich might be able to play in Pennsylvania and western New York and some of the Congressional districts, but that…
LG: Is Wisconsin a closed primary?
HH: Yes, it is.
LG: Well, every time it’s a closed primary, Ted does better. But you know, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, some of the northeastern states, you know, Pennsylvania, that’s a more Kasich territory. But if there are three people in the race, I believe that every vote John Kasich takes is a vote to help Trump. I know he doesn’t mean that, but I just think that the people that if John were not in the race, most of those people would go to Ted versus Trump.
HH: Now are we looking forward to a Lindsey Graham-Ted Cruz joint appearance somewhere, because I really want to photograph that.
LG: Yeah, if you get on a jet plane, and you still couldn’t make it, at 2:30, I’m going to do a fundraiser with Ted in D.C. with the AIPAC community, with the pro-Israel Republican community. I’m going to work my list pretty hard for Ted. I really do believe when it comes to Israel that Ted has been terrific on Israel, that he would appoint reliable conservative judges to the Supreme Court, which is the biggest prize of all. I can’t say that about Mr. Trump, and I think Ted could make the race with Hillary competitive, and they could beat her, because she’s such a flawed candidate. But at 2:30, I’m going to go help raise money for Ted Cruz. And if you live long enough, anything can happen.
HH: Anything can happen (laughing). All right, let me close by serious stuff. Last week, Vladimir Putin announced he’s pulling out of Syria. One, do you believe him?
LG: No. No, he’s going to keep a naval and an air base there, so that’s not pulling out.
HH: And so what is the, what do you discern his intentions to be, vis-à-vis Syria, Hezbollah and Iran?
LG: Okay, number one, Syria, he’s going to make sure that the navy base and the air base stay, and that if it’s not Bashar al-Assad, it’s going to be Bob Assad, that the regime in power is going to be friendly to Russia’s presence in Syria, that the Iranians are going to have a lot of say about what happens in Damascus. And I think that’s his goal in Syria. I don’t think he cares one way or there other about Hezbollah, but he’s found this alliance with Iran to be beneficial. He’s killed the people we’ve trained. Putin’s walked all over us in Ukraine, and he’s now dismembered Syria successfully, because Obama and Kerry are so weak.
HH: So is that one state, is Iran just really one state, but goes by a different name in Syria and in parts of southern Lebanon?
LG: Well, I think you can say Yemen, Lebanon, Baghdad, that the Iranian influence, the Shiite crescent, is really beginning to bloom, that if there’s a peace settlement that basically locks in Iranian control of Damascus, they have de facto control now of Baghdad, Yemen is completely divided, Hezbollah is the dominant power now in Lebanon, that I think the biggest winner of the Obama presidency have been Russian and Iran.
HH: I have to agree with that, Senator Lindsey Graham. Thank you for joining me. Please let me know when the Bilderbergers are getting back together again so I don’t miss the next meeting.
End of interview.