Lower-tier GOP candidate is exasperated by the Donald Trump and Ben Carson phenomenon

Lindsey graham msnbcMSNBC/screengrabSen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on MSNBC.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a presidential candidate lagging in the polls, just doesn’t get what’s happening in the 2016 Republican primary.

During a Monday “Morning Joe” interview, Graham wondered how real-estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson could be his party’s leading candidates.

“On our side, you got the No. 2 guy — tried to kill somebody at 14. And the No. 1 guy is high energy and crazy as hell. How am I losing to these people?” Graham asked.

Graham’s “No. 2 guy” reference was aimed at Carson, who has often described an incident where he tried to stab someone as a teenager. His “No. 1 guy” reference was obviously directed at Trump, with whom Graham has feuded.

The senator seemed particularly exasperated with Trump’s lack of concrete national-security plans.

“Just look at Donald Trump’s foreign policy, what is it? What’s he going to do about ISIL?” he said, referring to the extremist group also known as ISIS and the Islamic State. “What is it? What is it? What is his game plan to destroy ISIL, does anybody know? It changes. He says now he’d leave Syria completely alone and let the Russians deal with ISIL.”

He added of Trump: “And he’s winning.” 

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