Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham for President Makes Nine on the GOP Side

Another anti-Rand Paul candidate who claims affinity for libertarian ideas.


Glenn Fawcett/DOD

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) became the ninth Republican to jump into the 2016 presidential campaign. Above all, Graham wants to be the "tough on terror" candidate. As The State reports:

"Those who believe we can disengage from the world at large and stay safe by leading from behind, vote for someone else. I'm not your man," Graham told a crowd of about 300 people on Central's Main Street in front of the building where Graham grew up. "Those who believe the best way to defend ourselves is to lead the world, to make history rather than be overwhelmed by it, I ask for your support."

Graham gave his speech in front of the liquor store, pool hall and bar his parents ran until they died, 15 months apart. Their deaths left Graham, then a student at the University of South Carolina, as the father figure to his younger sister.

The setting tied in to Graham's messaging on domestic issues, where he wants potential voters to know he can work with Democrats to get government to fix problems. Via The State:

But, Graham said Monday, "There are a lot of so-called self-made people in this world. I am not one of them. My family, my friends, neighbors and my faith picked me up when I was down, believed in me when I had doubts.

"I'm a man with many debts to my family, my friends, to you, to South Carolina, to the country. I'm running for president to repay those debts."

Graham said he would work with lawmakers to find consensus on issues that "we so desperately need."

To Democrats, he said, "Our differences are real, and we'll debate them. But you're not my enemy. You're my fellow countrymen."

The enemy, of course, are people who even think about joining ISIS. He'd like to kill them on the spot, even if they are his "countrymen" (maybe he'd disagree that they are.)

Graham has been signaling a run for president for some months now—pre-announcing a couple of weeks ago—and has been positioning himself as the anti-Rand Paul candidate, though by far he's not the only one.  He may be the most formidable, so while Paul seemed briefly to be flirting with lurching right-ward toward Graham on foreign policy, has re-established himself this weekend as the Rand Paul (libertarianish) candidate in the race. Incidentally, Graham, like a lot of other boiler-plate Republicans, also claims allegiance to "libertarian ideas," dismissing differences with a school of thought that rejects extrajudicial killings as merely "tactical."

NEXT: Bruce Jenner Is Now Caitlyn Jenner

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  1. I made the mistake of turning on the television news to see what happened in the senate last night just as Lindsey was giving his announcement. I watched until I started throwing up a bit in my mouth (about a minute and a half) before turning it off and throwing the tv controller.

    Disgusting POS with zero chance of winning.

    1. I feel better now. I weeded my garden and rode the tractor around a bit. grass looks good, green tomatoes will be ready to pick in a few days.

  2. To Democrats, he said, “Our differences are real, and we’ll debate them. But you’re not my enemy. You’re my fellow countrymen.”

    Well, good luck with that one, Mr. Graham. As the saying goes, Republicans think Democrats are good people with bad ideas. Democrats think Republicans are bad people.

    Somehow I don’t see your candidacy changing any of that anytime soon.

    1. Well to be fair Lindsey Graham is a bad person.

      1. I am trying to think of a potential Democratic party nominee whom I would not describe as a ‘bad person.’

      2. Hugh,

        You may stop working on your understatements now, because you have clearly mastered them.

      3. With bad ideas.

      4. And so is nearly every Democrat politician or apparatchik. The exceptions are very few indeed.


  3. “I’m a man with many debts to my family, my friends, to you, to South Carolina, to the country. I’m running for president to repay those debts.”

    Why does that make me think of the Warren Harding administration?

    1. I don’t know about that. Before my fellowship at the EOP, they asked me a boatload of financial questions. The idea was that if I were in debt up to my nose, I might be a security risk. If he owes money to all of those people, isn’t he a security risk?

      Vote No to Deadbeats.

    2. He’s just being kinda honest.

      He’s running to raise money, which he will use to pay various people “My family, my friends”) by giving them no-show jobs. The “South Carolina” and “the country” are just eyewash.

      1. Was running for president (and not winning) always this lucrative?

        1. Are book sales and Fox News commentary positions that lucrative that they offset the costs it takes to “campaign?”

          I mean, who the fuck is going to support George Pataki?

          1. Campaign costs are born by the campaign fund, not the candidate.

            He gets a huge war chest (at least if he has a reasonable shot at winning the nomination) and that any money left over is available for use in other campaigns. Or can be laundered.

            I doubt that very many candidates ever bear any of the costs themselves – maybe a few like Perot – because if you can’t get donations then that’s a good sign that you’re not going to win.

            That applies to major party candidates – whoever tries for the CP nomination is probably going to leave broke.

          2. You look at the costs it takes to campaign as costs. The people who work for the campaigns look at them as revenues.

            You ever do any paid political work? I have, a lot. Usually I took little $ to do so. However, if a campaign had a mind to, it could pay a lot to vendors & contractors for overpriced goods & services. This is not considered a corrupt practice by those who are concerned with campaign finance as corrupting; only paying too little for goods & services is looked at askance, as a hidden in-kind payment by the vendor to the campaign, hence corrupting.

        2. I could use more money.

        3. IIRC, Steve Forbes blew half a gigabuck a few cycles ago and never got out of the starting gate.

          I don’t think he got it back in corporate goodwill.

          1. I think you have to be willing to do vile things. Perhaps Forbes lacked that killer instinct.

      2. Now will McCain match his honesty and scream that all his grandstanding is just for fundraising?

        1. The maverick’s maverick..

  4. Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die

  5. There are a lot of so-called self-made people in this world. I am not one of them.

    He didn’t build that.

  6. Get off my lawn!

  7. For a brief moment, its Rand Paul, Scott Walker, and [trigger warning!] the Seven Dwarves.

  8. Here’s the question we all should be asking: when does Lindsey get her day on the Vanity Fair cover?

    1. First, the Wheaties box.
      THEN, the Vanity Fair cover.

  9. Graham wants to be the “tough on terror” candidate.

    So he’s going to differentiate himself by being exactly like 7.5 of the others?

  10. He can do that, you know. Kill you just for thinking about joining ISIS.

    He just can’t do donuts in a 1997 Geo Prism without it flaming out.

  11. Reason posts a photo celebrating Bruce Jenner’s mental illness and make-believe and I think “wow, this may be the most disgusting thing I ever see on reason.” And then you tell me Lindsay Graham is running for POTUS.

    1. If you think that’s disgusting, you should try reading the comment I’m replying to right now.

    2. Matt Welch’s a vindictive bitch for all the flak directed his way on his MSNBC appearances.

      He has a sneaky way of getting even. Better than even.

  12. Nine?

    You still have Trump, Rick W. Perry, Fat Christie, ol’ Jeb,. Hell, I counted 16 the other day. I know, they are not “officially” in yet.

    1. Then they’re not in yet, are they?

      1. Forget it, Agammamon, it’s Plugtown.

      2. May he who hires the best ratfucker win!

        1. You’re so transparently looking for validation. Everyone here already knows that, if ratfucking was playing the piano, you’d be considered a bold and unpredictable new talent.

          1. You don’t understand shit about this. Winning in the GOP depends on digging up filth and lies on your opponent then publicizing it in the far right echo chamber.

            1. Don’t understand shit about what? That you’re really really good at fucking rats?

              1. Rats, sheep, goats, pigs, my cat… I’ve been inside them all.

            2. So, Hillary’s going to win the GOP primary then?

            3. Sure it is. Give my best to David Brock.

            4. On Fox. Publishing them ‘on Fox’. You forgot that part.

              You usually never forget the ‘on Fox’ part of your paranoia. What’s the matter, Butt? You under the weather?

        2. Isn’t that what Monica called Bubba cuz it was his Secret Service handle?

        3. Isn’t that what Monica called Bubba cuz it was his Secret Service handle?

          1. Yes. Yes.

    2. Yeah, a half dozen or so more and it will look like the “seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination” list.

  13. When I hear from John McCain and Lindsey Graham that 2016?s center issue will be national security, I’m reminded of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, as I often am in the current US political environment.

    You may have an utterly and infallible vision of a future you don’t want, and you work really hard to avert it at all costs. What you don’t realize is, by working to avert your vision, you are actually bringing it to fruition.

    Anakin saw his wife dying, and tried to find the means to protect her, even turning to the dark side to do so. He wound up killing her himself.

    Lindsey Graham sees radical Islamic terrorists and other countries’ armies threatening the world and wants to end that threat. But he doesn’t see that even after 14 years of on-and-off fighting, radical Islam is only growing and American influence abroad has been supplanted precisely due to America’s inept and misguided attempts at intervention.

    1. There’s no evidence that America’s interventions have grown radical Islam. The people in ISIS existed before and they would have existed anyways. Syria and Libya would have gone to hell and Iraq too.

      1. And I see no evidence that America’s interventions (spying, killing, invading, bombing) have prevented chaos, widespread death, and numerous other crises.

        But hey, I’m a reasonable skeptic. Let’s have the USA mind its own fucking business for the next 10 years and see what happens. Then we can reevaluate and decide on a course of action.

        1. Oh, no, we can’t do that. If we fail to attack Islamic terrorism at it’s roots, every single one of those roots, potential, suspected, and otherwise, anywhere and everywhere in the world, by any means necessary and without regard to the rights or lives of anyone else, preferably using drone strikes, then the White House will be converted to a mosque and we’ll all be beheaded. Really, it’s true.

          1. You managed to paraphrase a large number of individuals with whom I used to argue during George W. Bush’s presidencies.

  14. Nice of the Republicans to let that homasex’al fella take a run at the nomination.

    I’m sorry, “confirmed bachelor.”

    1. I think he prefers the term Moisturized-American.

      1. I bet he’s the nicest-smelling of all the candidates.

        At the other end, you look at Bernie Sanders and you know he smells of b.o. just constantly.

        1. He smells like the Phish bus after a cross-country road trip.

          1. Hillary has an aroma like talcum powder and stale rosewater, with notes of something rotten underneath. But if you’re close enough to smell that, it’s already too late.

        2. Well, that hippy, made-in-your-own-oven, deodorant may not be all that effective but its all-natural.

        3. What do you have, smellevision?

        4. You know Bernie’s got some Tolkeinesque ear hair.

    2. I’m sorry, “confirmed bachelor.”

      He’s the Liberace of politics. Except without the talent.

      1. He isn’t half the man Liberace was. And he surely cannot dress the part, either.

        1. And he surely cannot dress the part, either.

          If he could, he would be the most awesome candidate ever.

          1. The most fabulous candidate, anyway.

    3. Let’s go up to the lab
      And see what’s on the slab.

  15. Claiming allegiance to libertarian ideas while supporting action that chainsaw rapes the 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments is an awfully neat trick.

    1. ^ This

    2. Yes, but Republicans have been doing that for decades.

      1. Everyone single one of them.

        Except Mike Huckabee.

        1. Oh, you mean Huckabee doesn’t claim allegiance to libertarian ideas.

          For a moment there, I thought you meant he did not want to take a chainsaw to the Constitution.

          1. Huck hates libertarians.

  16. My guess: We’ll see McCain’s hand emerging from the back of Graham’s coat every time Lindsay stops talking.

    1. “Coat.” You misspelled “pants,” Brett.

      1. I was going to say “cloaca” but that would be unfair to fine, upstanding cloaca possessing Americans like Episiarch.

  17. It’s so hard to choose when every Republican sounds the same except Rand!

    1. It speaks volumes about how they view the Democratic party and the particular anointed Democratic candidate that this many people are getting in the GOP POTUS sweepstakes. Obama demolished the brand, but was not an attractive person to run against since he was always gonna command the black vote to turnout in record numbers. But he did plenty of damage to the brand, and with the primary Democratic POTUS candidate being Hillary and all the unlikability and scandals that she brings, the perception is that this is the year to be the GOP candidate.

  18. Well, I think it’s great the the Republican party is showing such commitment to diversity that they’re letting closeted retards have a champion in their primary.

    1. Are you kidding, it rare that retards don’t make up their entire lineup.

    2. closeted?

  19. “Graham… has been positioning himself as the anti-Rand Paul candidate, though by far he’s not the only one. He may be the most formidable….”

    I’m not with you here, Ed, I see Graham generating only slightly more traction than a coating of polytetrafluoroethene.

  20. I suspect Lindsey is like our own beloved TurdPolisher. He is gay and from the south. I am betting he took a ton of shit about it growing up and now he wants to punish everyone for it. Being effete and trying to grow up in a somewhat macho culture can scar a person for life.

    In short, Lindsey is a very flawed, dangerous individual.

    1. Are you implying that Graham is the Jame Gumb of the U.S. Senate?

  21. Graham said he would work with lawmakers to find consensus on issues that “we so desperately need.”

    I suppose politicians *must* utter this sort of crap, but can’t there be some kind of “you know what I mean so I don’t actually have to say it” codewords. “Dog whistles”, if you will?

  22. If I had MS Access or could figure out how to easily format the data otherwise, I could see how many, but just a cursory look at the data at shows a hell of a lot more candidates for prez than you’re reporting.

    1. *All* or *all Republican*?

      1. It’d be easy enough to sort by party once you got it loaded into a spreadsheet. Looks about evenly split from my glance at the raw .txt .

  23. But will Graham unleash the Scientologists on Somalia ?

  24. Unfortunately, Lindsey Graham is my Senator. I apologize to the country on behalf of South Carolina. (At least we don’t have quite as much to answer for as the people of Nevada, who keep giving us Harry Reid!) I have voted against him several times. He is, of course, not a libertarian, and he frequently has nasty things to say about libertarians. However, he is also wildly unpopular here among Republicans; the only reason he keeps winning is that we have open primaries and all the Democrats vote in the Republican senatorial primaries because they know it’s pointless to vote in the Democratic ones. My bet is that he doesn’t even win the SC Republican presidential preference primary (his natural base, the Democrats, will all be voting for Hillary). I predict an early crash-and-burn, and I won’t be mourning when it happens.

    1. Laird|6.1.15 @ 5:37PM|#
      “Unfortunately, Lindsey Graham is my Senator.”

      I’ll see you and raise one Babs Boxer.

      1. Chuck Schumer and Gillibrandt ……. we fail hardest in NY

  25. at this point, rand paul has to know that any effort to blur the distinctions between the neocons, etc. and himself is useless. he only undermines what makes him worth supporting, and no one in the establishment will take his efforts seriously anyway, so why compromise?

  26. one might think the only reason graham is getting in the race is so the others can take a break from criticizing rand as much.

    1. Is that what they mean by a “big tent”? Everybody dog-pile on Rand Paul

      1. not really…actually what they really mean by a “big tent” is many smaller tents -one devoted to dumping on paul, of course- and those smaller tents look might big when you put them together, but still very white, male, and such too. it’s more like an optical illusion with tents.

  27. Didn’t Graham McCain already state they’d vote for Hillary Clinton before they’d ever vote for Rand Paul?

    1. Why not? Like Imperial Stormtroopers, Clinton, McCain and Graham are all clones of a vicious bounty hunter.

      1. Fuckers should go fuck each other and leave us the fuck alone

    2. Yup. And these are the same assholes who, if someone they like wins the nomination, will insist that it’s the solemn duty of every libertarian to go out and vote for their turd because OTHERWISE WE’LL BE STUCK WITH HILLARY CLINTON AS PRESIDENT!

  28. What o be more appealing than a mental midget with delusions of grandeur.

    1. What could be…

    2. The Caitlyn Jenner cover?

      1. um, no comment

  29. Okay, just one more and it’s official. A GOP clown car has turned into a fucking circus.

  30. The 2016 presidential field is starting to look like a line-up from the Special Olympics.

  31. Having never voted for a democrat in my life, I would vote for Hillary before I would vote for the Progressive cocksucker Lindsay Graham.

    No offense meant to any gays out there. It’s just a figure of speech, although in Graham’s case I believe it to be true.

    1. Vote for Gary Johnson maybe?

      1. Vic — You are correct. Fortunately we all have the Libertarian option — the option I have been choosing since 1988 when Dr. Paul first ran for president.

  32. As if there weren’t enough clowns running for president.

  33. The only thing I got from Graham’s statement was:
    “…vote for someone else. I’m not your man…”

  34. Graham has “an affinity for libertarian ideas” about as much as Obama is dedicated to “transparency.” ZERO.

  35. Lindsey Graham can go to hell for all I care. He’s among the most anti-freedom politicians in elected office today right up there with Barack Obama, Dipshit Harry, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein and John McCainster.

  36. Lindsey Graham can go to hell for all I care. He’s among the most anti-freedom politicians in elected office today right up there with Barack Obama, Dipshit Harry, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein and John McCainster.

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