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Lindsey Graham: Republican National Committee Probably Couldn't 'Run A One-Car Funeral'

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 29/10/2015 Elise Foley
ATHENA IMAGE © (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press) ATHENA IMAGE

Presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Thursday that the Republican National Committee is hurting the party by "micromanaging" the debates.

During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" the morning after the CNBC Republican presidential debate, Graham said the party should stop dividing candidates into groups based on polling.

Of course, he has a vested interest there -- he's one of the candidates who was placed in the so-called undercard debate on CNBC on Wednesday, ahead of the main event with the 10 top-polling candidates.

"I think the Republican Party is becoming the loser here," Graham  said on "Morning Joe."

"We've got talented candidates," he added. "The process is not bringing out the best in the party. The RNC is trying to correct the last cycle's problems with too many debates."

He said the committee had gone overboard and was "micromanaging the process."

"You know, I don't think the RNC could run a one-car funeral," he continued. "This is getting pretty bad."

Graham was joined in the one-hour early debate by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

"I don't think I'm an undercard candidate when it comes to national security or trying to fix problems like the debt," Graham said on "Morning Joe." 

The later two-hour debate featured business mogul Donald Trump, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; Govs. John Kasich of Ohio and Chris Christie of New Jersey; Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky; and former Govs. Jeb Bush of Florida and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore did not qualify to participate in either debate because of his low polling numbers.

Graham has consistently complained about the debate process.  

"I think it sucks," Graham said on Tuesday ahead of the debate, according to CNN . "With all due respect, I know there are a lot of us running but I don't think I'm an undercard candidate when it comes to national security. I think I've got something to offer." 

His campaign manager, Christian Ferry, wrote to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in September criticizing the process.

"The RNC should not be in the busine ss of winnowing down primary fields; in fact, the rules specifically forbid it without a vote of the committee. No such vote has taken place," he wrote, as reported by Politico . "This race is far from over and far from narrowing down. Let’s give voters the full picture and view of our party, not limit participation."

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