Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is dropping out of the 2016 presidential race.
“While we have run a campaign that has made a real difference, I have concluded this is not my time,” Graham said in an email to his supporters.
While Graham has failed to gain traction on the campaign trail, he has become a regular thorn in Donald Trump’s side. Graham regularly offers a rebuttal to Donald Trumps inflammatory statements about Muslims and Mexican immigrants while advocating a hawkish foreign policy worldview that would put American troops on the ground in Syria.
“Four months ago, at the very first debate, I said that any candidate that didn’t understand we need more American troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIL was not ready to be commander in chief,” Graham said in a video to supporters announcing his decision. “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 to secure our homeland.”
“The No. 1 guy is high energy and crazy as hell. How am I losing to these people?” Graham said of Trump in late October.
“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,” John McCain said in a statement.
“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 added.
Here are a few other farewell comments from fellow Republicans.
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
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 21, 2015
Enjoyed Sen. @LindseyGrahamSC's wit & respect his seriousness on nat’l security—experience matters. Best wishes to him. -John
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) December 21, 2015