South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham announced on Monday that he was dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination for President.
Monday was also the last day Graham could have had his named removed from the primary ballot in South Carolina, his home state, saving him the worry of getting beaten badly in the polls on his home turf.
“You have honored me with your support. 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. This has been a problem solvers campaign. However the centerpiece of my campaign has been securing our nation.”
President Barrack Obama gave Graham credit in a interview on NPR just prior to the announcement that he was dropping from the field.
“To his credit, I think Lindsey Graham is one of the few who has been at least honest about suggesting ‘here is something I would do that the president is not doing,'” said the President. “”He doesn’t just talk about being louder or sounding tougher in the process.”
Graham based his campaign around a hawkish foreign policy, and warned that boots on the ground are what will be needed to defeat ISIS.
“Four months ago, at the very first debate, I said that any candidate who did not understand that we need more American troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIL was not ready to be commander in chief,” said Graham. “At that time, no one stepped forward to join me. Today, most of my fellow candidates have come to recognize this is what’s needed.”
While Graham never polled above 1 percent during his bid for the nomination, he frequently butted heads with front-runner Donald Trump over the latter’s bombastic hate speech.
A minor war of words erupted between the two over the summer. In an attempt to get one over on Graham, Trump gave out Graham’s personal number at a news conference. Graham took it in light-hearted stride though, recording a video of himself destroying a variety of cell phones.
Checkout Graham’s full video announcing the suspension of his campaign below.
[The Associated Press] [The Washington Post] [The New York Times]