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Senator Lindsey Graham Announces Bid for Presidency

The Republican presidential candidate field just got larger with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) launching his bid for the GOP presidential nomination on Monday. From his hometown of Central, S.C., Graham said “I want to be president to defeat the enemies trying to kill us, not just penalize them or criticize them or contain them, but defeat them." Graham is one of the leading national security hawks in the GOP and is running almost completely on his foreign policy stance.

He also cited his experience in the Senate on the Armed Services Committee, as a reserve officer in the U.S. Air Force, and countless trips to the Middle East as proof that he is the most capable candidate on foreign policy. He added “I’m running for president because I am ready to be commander-in-chief on day one. I’m ready on day one to defend our nation with sound strategy, a strong military, stable alliances, and steady determination. I have one simple message, I have more experience with our national security than any other candidate. That includes you, Hillary."

Just a week ago, Graham visited Israel where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and announced that he will retire from the Air Force Reserve after more than 30 years in the military. His allies have launched a super-PAC called Security Is Strength to boost his bid. Graham stated, “I know the players, I know our friends and our enemies alike. But most importantly, they know me. I have listened, learned and prepared myself for the job of commander-in-chief.” To date, Graham is the fourth Republican senator to enter the race, competing with Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). In the latest Quinnipiac University national survey released last week, Graham is tied for 12th, receiving only 1 percent support.

In his speech, Graham argued that "radical Islam is running wild" and that “They have more safe havens, more money, more weapons and more capability to strike our homeland than anytime since 9/11. They are large, rich and entrenched. As president, I will make them small, poor and on the run.” He also criticized President Obama for attempting to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program, saying, “If the United States isn’t firm in our intention to deny them such weapons, 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. I am running for president because I have the experience, judgment and will to deny the most radical regimes the most dangerous weapons.” Next on Graham's agenda are four events in New Hampshire on Tuesday and Wednesday, then four stops in Iowa on Thursday and Friday.

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