U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a longtime Washington insider and critic of President Obama, is seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina entered the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, bringing a loud critic of President Barack Obama's foreign policy into the White House contest. Graham, 59, announced his candidacy at an event in his home town of Central, South Carolina. "No one here, including me ever expected to hear me say, 'I am Lindsey Graham, and I am running for President of the United States," he said. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and others are also likely to join the battle in the coming weeks. A fierce critic of Obama's nuclear negotiations with Iran, Graham was one of 47 Republican senators who signed a letter of warning in March to the leadership in Tehran, a highly unusual intervention into U.S. foreign policymaking. Graham said the United States needs to step up the fight against Islamist extremism abroad to prevent militants attacking America as they did on Sept. 11, 2001. "They are large, they are rich and entrenched. As President I will make them small, poor and on the run," he said. He also underscored his experience to serve as Commander and Chief saying, "I have got one simple message, I have more experience with our national security than any other candidate in this race. That includes you Hillary." He is the ninth Republican to declare he is running for the White House in a field that includes better-known Republicans such as U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida.