Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham Drops Out of Presidential Campaign: 'I've Hit a Wall Here'

Four down, a dozen to go.


Gage Skidmore/flickr

Lindsey Graham's long-failing and now failed presidential campaign certainly didn't lack for red meat for the base: Graham positioned himself as THE anti-ISIS candidate, roping the terrorist organization into topics ranging from abortion to the Clintons as easily as Democrats rope it into climate change.

Some of Graham's positions, on immigration, gay marriage, and global warming, good or bad, added to the ideological diversity of the Republican presidential field, but were relegated from the beginning to the undercard debates, where campaigns go to die.

And you can't stress too much how awful Graham's foreign policy positions were, and continue to be. Graham said he's suspending his campaign, but he's "not going to suspend [his] desire to help the country," which means sticking around in the Senate to offer a defense of any pro-war or anti-liberties measure presented in the war on terror. Graham's insisted on the Senate floor, for example, that terrorism suspects be told to shut up and that they don't get a lawyer.

Were he president, he said he'd "literally" use the military to keep Congress in session until it reversed defense cuts. He's called for an unlimited authorization for the use of military force against terrorists, and supports bombing you if you were even thinking of joining Al-Qaeda or ISIS. He's suggested tracking people in "systems" to prevent mass shootings.

Graham's failure to launch can't be blamed on any lack of desire for the foreign policy vision he stakes out, or even on distaste for some of Graham's more interesting positions, and attempt to work on issues like immigration. He's been averaging 0.5 percent in the polls. In a field of 13 dominated by Donald Trump, there wasn't room for a bachelor Senator from South Carolina. Even in his home state, the third to hold a presidential contest in 2016, he was only averaging 1.7 percent.

"I've hit a wall here," he told CNN. No word on whether he'll make any endorsement, but Jeb Bush is already fighting for that half percent.