|The hopeless bid for president is over for Lindsey Graham. He suspends his campaign. It's not over for the South Carolina senator. He will still be agitating on GOP Sundays about "radical Islam" and how his buddy John McCain stood up to Barack Obama.|
Looks like the clown car just booted another one out! Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced today that he officially dropped out his long shot bid for president.
"I must suspend my campaign," he said on CNN this morning. "I'm not going to suspend my desire to help the country. I'll probably go back to Iraq and Afghanistan and get another update. Thirty-six trips has informed me. But the one thing I feel really good about is I did it with a smile on my face. I talked about things that are important to me and somebody better fix one day."
Later, in a phone interview with ABC News, Graham said, "I'm just going to chill out today," adding he hasn't decided whom to endorse yet. "There's lots of talented people in the race: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, others."
Graham, 60, had been included in the undercard debates during his campaign, struggling to garner any significant support in national or early state polls. "I’m far more confident today that our party will reject the Obama doctrine of leading from behind and will provide the strong leadership America needs," Graham says in a campaign video.
Thank you to everyone who honored me with their support. God bless our fighting men and women & God bless America. https://t.co/9qCM2qIu8p— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 21, 2015
The South Carolina Republican Party removed Graham’s name from the ballot there, a letter from the state GOP confirms to ABC News. Today marks the deadline to have any candidate's name removed from the South Carolina ballot.
“This letter shall certify the removal of Lindsey Graham’s name from South Carolina’s February 20, 2016 Republican Presidential Preference Primary ballot,” South Carolina GOP chair Matt Moore wrote to the state’s election commission.
The move potentially spares Graham from a poor performance in his home state.
"I have offered a detailed plan to win a war we cannot afford to lose and to turn back the tide of isolationism that has been rising in the Republican Party," Graham, whose campaign for the presidency lasted 204 days, said in a recent statement. "I believe we made enormous progress in this effort."
Graham is a hawkish Republican on national security. He openly boasted that if you elect him, he would send the troops to Iraq and Syria to take on the Islamic State.
Graham and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) were fixtures on GOP Sundays. Since he announced his bid for president, the appearances slowed down. It's been mostly about Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and the insurgent of the month.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the current insurgent of the month. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina deflated.
Graham isn't a fan of Trump, Cruz and Rubio. He blames them for the party's toxic environment.
Graham slammed Trump at a campaign stop. Trump in return told the junk food media Graham's phone number and he got swamped with death threats and insults.
Many conservatives aren't fans of Graham. For one thing, they think he's a RINO. They believe he's a closeted gay Republican. He's part of the Gang of Whatever, a group of bipartisan lawmakers who according to the right jams laws down Americans' throats.
This is the guy who complains about "radical Islam" and President Barack Obama not focusing on terrorism. He says that the president leads from behind. The funny thing is that Graham is leading from behind. He is a tool.
He is just as divisive as the leading candidates. It's unfortunate that he polled lower than Rick Santorum.
Santorum is by far the worst candidate to ever run for president. Santorum and Gilmore are way more pathetic than Graham. I mean they should just drop out as well.
Now who's going to go to the lower-tier debate? Likely Rand Paul and Ben Carson. They took the biggest nosedive in this race for the nomination.
Now the spots are lowered to 13.
Donald Trump - Reality television host/Business and media mogul
Ted Cruz - Current U.S. Senator from Texas
Marco Rubio - Current U.S. Senator from Florida
Ben Carson - Ex-neurosurgeon/activist
Carly Fiorina - Ex-business executive/activist
Jeb Bush - Ex-Florida governor/son of 41st and brother of 43rd
Chris Christie - Current New Jersey governor
John Kasich - Current Ohio governor
Rand Paul - U.S. Senator from Kentucky
Mike Huckabee - Ex-Arkansas governor/talk show host
Rick Santorum - Ex-Pennsylvania senator
George Pataki - Ex-New York governor
Jim Gilmore - Ex-Virginia governor
Who dropped out the race
Rick Perry - Ex-Texas governor
Scott Walker - Current Wisconsin governor
Bobby Jindal - Ex-Louisiana governor
Lindsey Graham - Current U.S. Senator from South Carolina
"Senator Graham has an incredibly strong and loyal grassroots network in South Carolina," GOP state chair Matt Moore said. "Given Senator Graham's huge [Senate] primary victory in South Carolina just last year, the Graham network could have a major impact on South Carolina's presidential primary."
But Democrats pointed to Graham's support of comprehensive immigration reform. "The one presidential candidate who has consistently favored comprehensive immigration reform just dropped out of the race after attracting virtually no support," Democratic National Committee spokesman Eric Walker said in a statement.
In a statement, Graham's close friend Arizona Sen. John McCain expressed his gratitude for Graham's bid. "It is a pity that a bifurcated debate structure kept his voice and views from the wider public that needed to hear them," he said. "With Senator Lindsey 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."
Today, the old fart Rush Limbaugh rips into Graham. He also rips the Democratic debate. The old fart makes note of the restroom break by Hillary Clinton.