Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday pleaded with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to "stop digging" by insulting Hispanic voters because the party was already in a "death spiral."

In a conference call with donors last week, Romney suggested that he lost his bid for the White House because president Barack Obama bribed Hispanics, African-Americans, women and youth voters with "gifts" like "free health care" and "amnesty for children of illegals."

"We're in a big hole [and] we're not getting out of it by comments like that," Graham told NBC's David Gregory on Sunday. "When you're in a hole, stop digging. He keeps digging."

The senior senator from South Carolina added that Hispanics only voted for Obama because "he's the lesser of two evils."

"Self deportation being pushed by Mitt Romney hurt our chances," he explained. "We're in a death spiral with Hispanic voters because of rhetoric around immigration and candidate Romney in the primary dug the hole deeper."

Graham concluded: "Most people who are on public assistance don't have a character flaw, they just have a tough life."

Watch this video from NBC's Meet the Press, broadcast Nov. 18, 2012.