WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham announced Monday he was ending his 2016 presidential campaign.
The South Carolina senator posted a video saying he was proud of his campaign, which he said was focused on the nation’s security.
“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.”
Graham, 60, plunged into the contest in June on a platform of hawkish foreign policy and a declaration that newcomers need not apply for a job that offers no chance for “on-the-job training.” At the time, anything was possible because none in the mob of GOP candidates was capturing a sizable base of support.
But over the summer, political neophytes Donald Trump and Ben Carson surged to the front of the pack and forced far better-known candidates, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, to fight for support.
Graham, urged to run by 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, won so little backing in national polls that he failed to qualify even for the undercard GOP debate in November.
The senator is an Air Force veteran and reservist and a foreign policy hawk who delivered several wry one-liners during a presidential debate early this fall. But he was left out of the most recent debate because his poll numbers had dropped below the threshold.