Lindsey Graham Throws his Name into the 2016 Presidential Race

By on June 1, 2015
lindsey graham

Lindsey Graham Throws his Name into the 2016 Presidential Race

lindsey graham

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham will be officially beginning his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Monday with a grim accounting of radical Islam “running wild” in a world being terrorized also by Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

 

Lindsey Graham dedicated himself to defeating U.S. adversaries, a commitment that would place thousands of troops back in Iraq, essentially re-engaging in a war launched back in 2003.

 

“I’ve got one simple message,” he told supporters in the small town where he grew up. “I have more experience with our national security than any other candidate in this race. That includes you, Hillary.”

 

Guns blazing, he took on Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as non-interventionists in his own party and rivals with little to no foreign policy credentials.

 

Graham, 59, becomes the first candidate from major either major party to hail from one of the first 4 states that will cast primary ballots. Iowa and New Hampshire lead the process, followed by South Carolina and finally Nevada.

 

Having secured his 3rd term in November, Graham is a prominent Senate voice in seeking a stringent foreign policy and one who casts the threats facing the United States in particularly dark times.

 

“Simply put, radical Islam is running wild,” he said. “They have more safe havens, more money, more weapons and more capability to strike our homeland than any time since 9/11. They are large, they are rich, and they’re entrenched.”

 

He claims, that as president, he’d “make them small, poor and on the run.”

 

“I’m afraid some Americans have grown tired of fighting them,” he said. “I have bad news to share with you — the radical Islamists are not tired of fighting you.”

 

Despite his focus on Islamic State militants with footholds in those two nations, Graham said Iran poses the gravest threat.

 

If the U.S. does not head off a nuclear capability in Iran, Graham said, “Iran will trigger a nuclear arms race in the least stable region on Earth, and make it more likely that people who aspire to genocide will have the most effective means to commit it.”

He said recently there is no avoiding the reality that more Americans will have to fight and die to defend the country.

 

Graham entered Congress as an outspoken member of the conservative freshman class that brought Republicans a majority in 1994. Yet he’s since joined with Democrats on some votes.

 

He backed a 2012 immigration overhaul and voted to end a 2013 partial government shutdown, for example. He also backed President Barack Obama’s two Supreme Court nominees.

 

That earned Graham some resent from his fellow Republicans, but he said Monday his willingness to “work with anybody” is necessary. Graham said wealthier members of his generation would have to take fewer Social Security and Medicare benefits, while younger workers may have to work longer and pay more.

 

“We have to fix entitlement programs to make sure people who need the benefits the most receive them,” he said. “That’s going to require determined presidential leadership.”

That statement impressed Daniel Nichols, 35, of Central. “You know, I think he may be right on Social Security,” Nichols said. “I wonder if he’s being a little too truthful when he says that, though.”

 

Graham leaned heavily on his personal story Monday, delivering his speech in front of the building where he grew up and his parents ran a family restaurant and bar business. Graham’s parents died when he was in college, leaving him as guardian to his then 13-year-old sister, Darline.

 

“We depended on Social Security benefits to survive,” Graham said. “As president, I’ll gladly do what it takes to save a program that once saved my family.”

Graham planned appearances this week in New Hampshire and Iowa if the Senate schedule lets him go.