Lindsey Graham announces he’s out of presidential race

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dropped out of the 2016 race for the Republican presidential nomination by releasing a video on YouTube.

“I must suspend my campaign,” Graham told CNN. “I’m not going to suspend my desire to help the country. I’ll probably go back to Iraq and Afghanistan and get another update. 36 trips has informed me. But the one thing I feel really good about is I did it with a smile on my face. I talked about things that are important to me and somebody better fix one day.”

Today, I’m suspending my campaign for president. I want to thank everyone who has taken this journey with me. You have honored me with your support.

I believe we’ve run a campaign you can be proud of. We put forward bold and practical solutions to big problems, like retiring our debt and fixing a broken immigration system. This has been a problem solver’s campaign.

However, the centerpiece of my campaign has been securing our nation. I got into this race to put forward a plan to win a war we cannot afford to lose and to turn back the tide of isolationism that was rising in our party. I believe we’ve made enormous progress in this effort.

Four months ago at the very first debate, I said that any candidate that did not understand that we need more American troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIL was not ready to be commander-in-chief. At that time, no one stepped forward to join me. Today, most of my fellow candidates have come to recognize this is what’s needed to secure our homeland.

I am far more confident today that our party will reject the Obama doctrine of leading from behind and will provide the strong leadership America needs to restore our military, take the fight to our enemies and do what it takes to make our country safe and preserve our way of life.

This is a generational struggle that demands a strategy and the will to win. I will continue to work every day to ensure that our party – and our nation – takes on this fight. I’m suspending my campaign, but never my commitment to achieving security through strength for the American people.

God bless our fighting men and women, and God bless America.

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