Lindsey Graham on Monday formally
announced his bid for the White House.
South Carolina's senior senator
announced his campaign in Central, the small town where he grew up.
Graham spent the majority of his 20
minute speech on foreign policy, telling his supporters that he wants
“to become president to defeat the enemies that are trying to kill
us. Not just penalize them, or criticize them, or contain them, but
“So get ready. I'm ready,” he
“I've got one simple message: I have
more experience with our national security than any other candidate
in this race, that includes you Hillary,” he said, a reference to
former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, considered the
front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Graham promised to be a “voice for
social conservative values without apology or animosity.”
The 59-year-old unmarried Graham, a
vocal opponent of LGBT rights who has racked up an impressive
anti-gay voting record while serving in Congress, has previously
denied rumors he's gay.
In 2010, The New York Times
posed the question to Graham.
“I know it's really gonna upset a lot
of gay men – I'm sure hundreds of 'em are gonna be jumping off the
Golden Gate bridge – but I ain't available. I ain't gay. Sorry,”
Graham is the ninth announced candidate
for the Republican presidential nomination.
Graham: US must “move forward” if Supreme court strikes gay