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Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | John McCain | Rand Paul | Lindsey Graham | 2016 | committee

Lindsey Graham Takes Step Toward a Run for President

Lindsey Graham Takes Step Toward a Run for President
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 29 January 2015 04:17 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham became the latest Republican taking the first step toward a run for president in 2016, announcing the formation of an exploratory committee that will allow individuals to donate to a potential campaign.

"Well, I'm going to take a look at the presidential primary on the Republican side. We'll have an organization up and running today called Security Through Strength. And this organization will allow people to donate money and their time and resources to see if there is a pathway forward for me. You know Ronald Reagan famously said his goal was to have peace through strength," the South Carolinian told Fox News.

"Time will tell," he added.

The organization will be led by David Wilkins, who served in George W. Bush's administration as U.S. ambassador to Canada, and political advisers Christian Ferry and Scott Farmer will also join the exploratory team, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

The committee's name paraphrases President Ronald Reagan's term Peace Through Strength to define his approach to foreign policy and indicates that Graham's campaign will be heavily focused on international concerns.

"Ronald Reagan's policy of 'Peace Through Strength' kept America safe during the Cold War. But we will never enjoy peaceful co-existence with radical Islam because its followers are committed to destroying us and our way of life. However, America can have 'Security Through Strength,' and I will continue to lead in that critical fight," said the statement.

The committee will fund the infrastructure and operations allowing Graham to travel the country, listen to Americans, and gauge support for a potential presidential candidacy.

Graham, 59, may face some obstacles in bringing conservative primary voters to his side considering his support for a bipartisan immigration bill and his close alliance with the GOP's 2008 presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

At the moment, many political analysts believe he is more of a "wild card" than a serious contender.

"I'm not saying he's a minor figure. People run for president for different reasons. Some run simply to win. Others run to promote views on particular issues that matter to them," University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato told The State.

"Maybe McCain has convinced him that he has a shot," Sabato said, adding that he would have to "do a lot of explaining."

Although he handily won re-election last November, his name has not appeared in any primary polling and some contend his campaign would simply be a way to "troll" another GOP candidate Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is running on a less interventionist foreign policy than Graham.

"Graham seemingly has no chance of winning the GOP nomination. The conservative base despises him [he is nicknamed 'Lindsey Grahamnesty' for his support of immigration reform] and there seems to be little establishment enthusiasm for him apart from his good friend, Sen. John McCain, who's been egging on the man he calls his 'illegitimate son' to run for months. So it seems quite possible that the main purpose of a Graham campaign isn't to win — but to troll Rand Paul," writes Andrew Prokop of Vox.

But others admit that despite not taking initial talk of a Graham run, his inclusion in the race would be an interesting twist.

Story continues below video.



"I think everyone has had a bit of a smile about Lindsey saying that he is interested in running for president. It's going to be interesting to see if he even could win his own state.
You know, he has got some issues with immigration. He did face a bit of a challenge in the primary last year for winning to win re-election. But, at the same time, I think he has got a point to make," Andy Shain, a political reporter for The State, told Fox News' Brett Baier this week.

Shain noted that Graham's frequent appearances on cable television news shows gives him a "pulpit nationally" for a run.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham became the latest Republican taking the first step toward a run for president in 2016, announcing the formation of an exploratory committee that will allow individuals to donate to a potential campaign.
Lindsey Graham, 2016, committee, John McCain
658
2015-17-29
Thursday, 29 January 2015 04:17 PM
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