Graham: Immigration reform will pass

June 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said a Republican candidate will be unable to win in the 2016 presidential election unless Congress passes immigration reform.

Graham said the Republican party is in a "demographic death spiral" during his appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

"We're in a demographic death spiral as a party and the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community in my view is pass comprehensive immigration reform. If you don't do that, it really doesn't matter who we run in my view," he said.

But Graham said he thinks Congress will pass the reforms with more than 70 votes.

"I've never been more optimistic about it," he said.

He also noted a deep bench of potential Republican candidates for the 2016 race, such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan.

"After eight years of President Obama's economic policies, and quite frankly foreign policy, people are going to be looking around," he said.

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