Lindsey Graham Enters 2016 Presidential Race

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced his presidential bid in his hometown on Monday, joining an already crowded Republican ticket.

When asked about a motive for running, Lindsey Graham told CBS in May that he was considering a run because “the world is falling apart.”

If elected, he said he would start his duties as Commander-in-Chief immediately, a reflection of his commitment to national security.

“I’m running for president because I’m ready to be Commander-in-Chief on day one.”

Though his opponents have also said they would take a tough stance on terrorists and foreign leaders who are against the United States, Lindsey Graham sets himself apart with his level of experience in national security, and said himself that the has more experience than any other candidate in the race.

Lindsey Graham is an underdog in the the nominating contest which includes former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Early polls have not showed to be in Lindsey Graham’s favor, but Robert Wislinski, a political strategist in South Carolina, said most are well aware of his position.

“I think that no one here in South Carolina has any illusions that Lindsey Graham is on a fast track or even near the front part of the pack in that crowded group.”

Though Lindsey Graham’s strong feelings about cracking down on terrorism and gaining “security through strength” have gained him popularity within the party, he has been criticized for siding with Democrats on issues like climate change, immigration, and spending.

Lindsey Graham spoke to foreign policy and national security issues heavily, he also had a personal tone during his announcement when he talked about his journey.

“Those of you who’ve known me a long time know I had some ups and downs as a young man. I lost my parents, and had to struggle financially and emotionally. I would not have made it through those times without you, and without the example my parents set for me.”

Graham’s parents were small business owners, and when they died during Graham’s college years, he raised and eventually adopted his younger sister. He then became an Air Force lawyer and would eventually become the senior senator of South Carolina that he is today.

Lindsey Graham has been elected once to the South Carolina House, five times to the U.S. House and three times to the U.S. Senate. He has never lost a race, giving him a perfect record.

He also officially retired from the Air Force Reserve the same day he made his announcement, though he said in a statement that he did not feel ready to retire after serving for more than 30 years.

[Photo By Scott Olson/Getty Images]

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