Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) easily sailed past a crowded primary of Tea Party challengers this summer, and is expected to defeat Democratic state Sen. Brad Hutto in November to win a third term.
But some are wondering if the senator’s sights are set on 2016.
Telling the Arizona Republic last week that he and Graham are the “closest of friends,” 2008 GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the South Carolina lawmaker has his support.
“He’ll be looking at it,” McCain said. “One rationale is because, obviously, national security has assumed a much more prominent place in our political calculations. And Lindsey Graham is as experienced and knowledgeable as anybody in America.”
Graham told Fox last night that he’s focusing on the fact “I’m about to get re-elected, I hope, in three weeks.”
“I’m all in for getting re-elected to the United States Senate from South Carolina,” the senator said. “I know what it takes to run for president, the sacrifice you make, the money you have to raise, the network. I’m nowhere near there. I’m very much focused on winning my Senate race.”
Graham told The Weekly Standard that “if nobody steps up in the presidential mix” then “I may just jump in to get to make these arguments” about the challenge of trying to fix results of Obama policies.
“He’s a good guy, but after doing immigration with him—we don’t need another young guy not quite ready,” Graham said of a Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) candidacy. “He’s no Obama by any means, but he’s so afraid of the right, and I’ve let that go.”
Graham stressed national security to Fox, saying “two years from now, if we haven’t defeated and destroyed ISIL in Syria and Iraq, that endangers our nation and puts the whole region into chaos.”
“I think what President Obama is doing is trying to do the least amount possible to get this issue behind him and leave office without have destroyed ISIL to keep a campaign promise not to go back into Iraq,” he said. “And that, to me, is dangerous and, quite frankly, pathetic leadership.”
“Our commander in chief is more worried about political promise than he is keeping the region stable and protecting our homeland. I hope the American people understand, the next time you vote for commander in chief, make sure you are voting for somebody who has the experience and the knowledge to get the job right.”