Lindsey Graham suspends his presidential campaign
Lindsey Graham Ends His Presidential Campaign.
WASHINGTON — With just over a month to go until early voting begins in the 2016 race for president, Republican Sen. Graham’s focus on national security and fighting terrorism was influential in the overall primary debate, but he was not well known outside South Carolina or the Senate.South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham dropped out of the Republican presidential race on Monday, reducing the candidates in the party’s still-crowded field to 13. “I’m going to suspend my campaign.
Graham to remove his name from the South Carolina ballot for his home state’s primary. “Since launching my campaign for president on June 1, I have offered a path to saving the American dream and working together on bold solutions to solve big problems,” said Mr. Graham, one of the most hawkish foreign policy voices in the race who has nonetheless been stuck in the low single digits in polls. “This has been a problem solvers’ campaign.
I believe we have run a campaign we can be proud of,” Graham said. “We put forth bold and practical solutions to big problems about retiring our debt and fixing our broken immigration system. I have tried to be honest with the American people, look for realistic ways to get things done, and inject a little humor along the way,” he said. “Most importantly, the centerpiece of my campaign has been securing our nation. John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that with Graham’s announcement, “Republicans lost our most qualified, thoughtful, fearless and honest presidential candidate, not to mention the candidate with the best (and it seemed sometimes the only) sense of humor.” “Despite the disadvantages he faced in resources and debate opportunities, Lindsey’s message of serious statesmanship and problem-solving in public affairs, his forthright opposition to policies and attitudes that would endanger our country and reflect poorly on our party, and his genuine decency and humility won him many new admirers,” McCain said in a statement.
Despite repeatedly campaigning there with his good friend and two-time New Hampshire Republican primary winner John McCain, Graham had not cracked 1% in a poll of the Granite State in December. Four months ago at the very first debate, I said that any candidate who did not understand that we need more troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIL was not ready to be commander in chief.
Having mustered little support in the polls, Graham’s exit will not have an immediate effect on the race in the final stretch before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses and the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary. Some leading Republicans in South Carolina have remained uncommitted to this point out of loyalty to their senior senator, but now are free to take sides.
By dropping out, the three-term senator avoids potential embarrassment by losing and is able to play kingmaker among the establishment candidates vying to be an alternative to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. He raised enough money to travel to Iowa and New Hampshire, but started losing ground when the national Republican party and sponsors of the televised debates divided the field into front runners and long shots, and he was relegated to the second-tier debates.
Graham, urged to run by 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, won so little backing in national polls that he failed to qualify even for the undercard GOP debate in November. So we’ll miss that in the campaign, although I’m sure he’ll continue to do that in his role in the Senate.” Asked if he would seek Graham’s endorsement, Rubio said he would “welcome” his Senate colleague’s support but noted it was early yet to pursue that avenue. An Air Force veteran and reservist, Graham is a foreign-policy hawk who has called President Barack Obama “a small-minded guy in big times.” After the attacks on Paris that killed 129 people, Graham pushed for an authorization of military force against the Islamic State that would allow the U.S. to attack the groups’ supporters anywhere, with no time limit.
He could frequently be found campaigning in New Hampshire with Senator John McCain, his close friend and political ally, in hopes of making a surprisingly strong showing in New Hampshire. Graham’s departure leaves 13 candidates still comprising a crowded Republican field, as real estate mogul Donald Trump solidifies his frontrunner status: Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore. “People are allowed to run for president. I am not going to give an inch on the idea.” Graham, a member of the conservative class that swept into control of the House in 1994 has, at times, joined Democrats on other high-profile votes. He has panned conservatives who have been willing to let the government shut down if their demands aren’t met, saying: “We’re a right-of-center nation.
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