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We Are Getting Creamed': Senator Says Republican Party Has a Huge Race Problem, and If He Were President He'd Push Immigration Reform

"If I were president of the United States, I would veto any bill that did not have a pathway to citizenship."

"We are getting creamed with non-white voters."

So spoke Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) as he talked about the 2016 presidential election — a race he's "98.6 percent sure" he'll join — and the GOP's struggle to appeal to minority voters with USA Today this week.

“I mean, we’ve got a big hole we’ve dug with Hispanics,” he said. “We’ve gone from 44 percent of the Hispanic vote [in the 2004 presidential election] to 27 percent [in 2012]."

He continued, "You’ll never convince me [the sagging popularity with Hispanics is] not because of the immigration debate."

Graham's solution:

If I were president of the United States, I would veto any bill that did not have a pathway to citizenship. You would have a long, hard path to citizenship ... but I want to create that path because I don't like the idea of millions of people living in America for the rest of their lives being the hired help. That's not who we are.

Watch Graham's interview below:

The first part of Graham's sentiment — though not necessarily the second — was echoed at the South Carolina Freedom Summit Saturday, where South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney got the meeting going by telling the audience — mostly white, older voters — that nationwide the electorate is younger and more Hispanic.

Mulvaney said the GOP's presidential candidate must not "water down conservative principles," but at the same time, the candidate needs to know, "how to talk to the people who aren't in this room."

(H/T: Mediaite)

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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