Defense hawk Lindsey Graham enters Republican race

June 1, 2015

Republican presidential candidate U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham shakes hands with supporters after announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Central, South Carolina June 1, 2015. REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry

Reuters’ Greg Lacour reports:

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a defense hawk,¬†entered the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, putting criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy at the forefront of his White House bid.

“Those who believe we can disengage from the world at large and be safe by leading from behind, vote for someone else. I am not your man,” he said at an event in his hometown of Central, South Carolina to announce his candidacy.

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.

“I want to be president to defeat the enemies trying to kill us, not just penalize them or criticize them or contain them, but defeat them,” he said. “Simply put, radical Islam is running wild.”

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