Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was promoting his own presidential candidacy on CNN Friday after former presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that he will not run in 2016.
Graham told CNN that while he was "surprised" by Romney's announcement, it won't change his decision to explore the possibility of running and that it means "one less good person to choose from."
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However, he said that "there's other people out there too, and I want to try to be one of those."
Graham then went on to describe the organization he's set up, which would be the beginning structure for his campaign, if he does in fact run.
"The name of this organization is SecurityThroughStrength.com and the theme is that for America to be secure, we need to be strong, have a strong military, get our act together when it comes to dealing with radical Islam and Iran on the march, but [also] economic security, retirement security, being able to pass on the American dream — that's what I want to talk about," Graham said.
"That's what I want to talk about, securing America."
Graham said that his main motivation for running is because of what military families have gone through "for the last 13 years" with the wars in the Middle East.
"I think I have the ability to be a good commander-in-chief, and God knows we need one right now," he said.
What the troops have had to go through makes the hassle of campaigning and wading through a potentially ugly primary "pale in comparison," he said.
"They're my inspiration," he added.
He said that he's also received "a lot of encouragement" from fellow Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who ran for president against President Barack Obama in 2008 and recently referred to Graham as his "illegitimate son."
He added that McCain's encouragement has been "one of the highlights of my life."
Romney made the announcement that he will not wage a third run
for president during a conference call Friday, which was broadcast by CNN.
"After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee," the Massachusetts Republican said.
"I am convinced that we could win the nomination, but fully realize it would have been a difficult test and a hard fight," Romney added.
Graham told Fox News
Thursday that he's considering running for president on the Republican ticket in 2016, saying that he is forming an exploratory committee that individuals can use to begin donating to his campaign, if he should decide to run.
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