- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2016

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump took a brief timeout Monday from bashing 2016 rival Ted Cruz to go after Sen. Lindsey Graham, who recently helped Mr. Cruz raise money and is supporting the Texas senator as an alternative to Mr. Trump.

“Oh, did I kill the poor guy,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Graham, who suspended his own presidential campaign in late December. “I hit him so hard, he’s still recovering.

“You know, in South Carolina, I was at 42 [when] he was at 2 and he’s the sitting senator from South Carolina,” Mr. Trump said at a campaign event in Wisconsin ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

“But Lindsey Graham — this poor guy. This poor, poor pathetic man,” Mr. Trump said. “And I don’t want his support. Lindsey, you don’t ever have to support me — I promise, OK? You know, somebody was saying you’ll never get his support. I don’t want his support. I don’t care.

“I beat him so badly that it’s really impossible for him to support me, OK?” he said. “It’s impossible. I hit him so hard — from the phone number, remember when he came … he came up wanting money.”

Last July, Mr. Trump read aloud Mr. Graham’s cellphone number at a rally in South Carolina after Mr. Graham had called Mr. Trump a “jackass.”

“And I just found this old phone number. I said, I wonder if it still works,” Mr. Trump said. “His phone exploded the next day. … Hey, we all had fun, you know. It’s just fun.”

Mr. Cruz, for his part, has spoken positively about Mr. Graham’s support on the campaign trail, citing it as evidence of the broad cross-section of the GOP his campaign has managed to attract.

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