Republican Senator Lindsey Graham dropped out of the presidential race as of today.
Graham spoke about the decision and about his campaign in a YouTube video posted this morning.
“While we have run a campaign that has made a real difference, I have concluded this is not my time… I got into this race to put forward a plan to win a war we cannot afford to lose and to turn back the tide of isolationism that was rising in our party… I believe we made enormous progress in this effort.”
USA Today reports that although Graham did influence the primary debate regarding terrorism and national security, he wasn’t well known outside his South Carolina district.
“I am suspending my campaign, but never my commitment to achieving security through strength for the American people.”
According to Time, John McCain commented on Graham dropping out of the presidential race, saying that the Republicans had “lost our most qualified, thoughtful, fearless, and honest candidate.”
CNN reports that Florida Senator Marco Rubio issued a statement regarding Senator Graham.
“[Lindsey] is a defender of a strong national defense as I am. I watched some of the debates he was in, some of the early debates, and I thought he was one of the most forceful voices on any of the debate stages about rebuilding our military … And I personally, of course, think Lindsey is a good guy, a very funny guy. We will miss his humor on the campaign trail. We look forward to hearing more of it on the Senate floor.”
Jeb Bush also weighed in with a tweet early this morning. “Nobody is more clear-eyed about ISIS than my friend @GrahamBlog. As he leaves the race I hope our party & country listen to his counsel.”
Lindsey Graham, 60, has served as a United States Senator from South Carolina since 2003.
After receiving his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1981, Lindsey served in the United States Air Force for six years.
He then served six years in the Air National Guard and 10 years in the Air Force Reserves, where he attained the rank of colonel, reports Wikipedia.
Graham went on to serve one term in the South Carolina House of Representatives, then the United States House of Representatives for four terms. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2002, winning that race and serving for three terms so far.
Graham’s primary focus is an advocate for strong United States leadership in foreign affairs, a strong military and a strong national defense. His ability to work across the aisle to work with Democrats is well known.
The Wall Street Journal reports that “Mr. Graham was out of step with the Republican Party on many issues.” For example, he believed in a path to citizenship in the 2013 immigration legislation. He also took moderate positions on same-sex marriage and abortion, putting him at odds with some of the GOP leaders.
At the Republican Jewish Coalition forum earlier this month, he warned voters against backing controversial candidates, reported the Wall Street Journal.
“It’s not because of social issues that we will lose. It’s positions we take regarding social issues that can disconnect us from America at large. If you’re going to tell a woman who’s been raped that she has to carry the child of the rapist, you’re going to lose most Americans.”
His campaign never made much traction in the polls. He did not even qualify to make the main prime-time debate stage. By Senator Lindsey Graham dropping out of the presidential race today, which is the deadline to remove his name from the South Carolina ballot, he will not face the possibility of low primary numbers in his home state.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]