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Lindsey Graham Is Latest GOP Candidate to Drop Out of 2016 Race

Lindsey Graham Is Latest GOP Candidate to Drop Out of 2016 Race


The U.S. senator from South Carolina announced he was suspending his campaign in a YouTube video this morning.

Lindsey Graham suspended his presidential campaign this morning, effectively ending his bid to secure the Republican presidential nomination for 2016.

In a video the Graham campaign posted to YouTube, the U.S. senator from South Carolina declared "This is not my time."

The New York Timesdescribed Graham in its coverage of his withdrawal as "one of the most hawkish foreign policy voices in the race who has nonetheless been stuck in the low single digits in the polls."

Last week, in the final "undercard" GOP debate of 2015, Graham sounded an urgent call to combat terrorists before they bring their fight to American shores: "They're coming here to kill us all," said Graham, of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group variously abbreviated as ISIS or ISIL, and also known as Daesh.

Among the GOP field of virulently anti-LGBT candidates, Graham adopted a more conciliatory tone toward LGBT Americans than many of his rivals. Graham was the first of the Republican candates running for the nomination to welcome Caitlyn Jenner when she came out in June, and publicly asked for her vote. Jenner is a Republican.

He also announced he was prepared to accept a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality weeks before it was announced, then urged his fellow Republicans to "accept the court's ruling [and] fight for the religious liberties of every American," in the days after the landmark ruling came down in June.

Graham told Fusion he was in favor of "discrimination that makes sense," revealing he was unaware of the ban on transgender members of the military serving openly. However he embraced the Pentagon's acceptance of women in combat roles, saying in the last debate that his message to women in the military is "If you want to kill terrorists, I'm your man."

He never addressed speculation by late-night comics that he is gay, which stemmed from his lifelong bachelorhood.

Watch Sen. Graham's announcement from YouTube, below.

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