Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina announced that he will make his formal presidential campaign on June 1, 2015. Graham appeared on CBS This Morning on Monday, May 18, 2015 where he first announced that he decided to run for the Republican presidential nomination. Graham believes his foreign policy experience sets him apart from the other GOP candidates in the field; still he has not resonated with voters, polling near last with only about one percent support.
Graham plans to hold an event announcing his candidacy in his hometown of Central in Pickens County, South Carolina. Graham told CBS This Morning, “I will make an announcement on June 1st, and I will tell you what I’m going to do about running for president.” The South Carolina Senator explained, “I’m running because I think the world is falling apart. I’ve been more right than wrong on foreign policy.”
Graham, a foreign policy hawk, is basing his campaign in large part on his foreign policy credentials, “I’ve been more right than wrong on foreign policy. It’s my ability, in my own mind, to be a good commander in chief and to make Washington work.”
Conservatives often accuse Graham of working too much with Senate Democrats. The South Carolina senator sees his ability to support and promote bipartisanship, which has been sorely lacking in Washington as an advantage. Graham was a part of the Gang of 8 senators who wrote and sponsored the 2013 Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill. Graham sees himself as conservative enough because he is “pro-life, pro-military and pro-gun.”
In his Senate reelection campaign in 2014, Graham faced a large primary challenge; still he won the primary and his reelection by large margins. Graham commented, “The reason I had six primary opponents in my last election is because I’ve been accused of working with Democrats too much. In my view, Democrats and Republicans work together too little. And I would try to change that if I got to be president.”
In March when Graham first hinted at a run he told Fox News, “I would embrace bipartisanship where it made sense. If I ran as the Republican nominee for president, I’d be running as a person to govern 300 million, not just a part of the country. I believe in Republican principles, but I believe in the greatest principle of all, that our government has to function.” Graham first announced on April 19 on the Fox News Sunday that he was “91% sure” he would run. Graham’s campaign is considered a long shot, because of his position in the polls and the large Republican field.
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.