Sen. Lindsey Graham suspended his long shot bid for president Monday, saying “I believe we’ve run a campaign you can be proud of.”
Graham, R-S.C., announced his decision in a conference call with supporters. He followed up the announcement with a video posted on his campaign website.
"I'm suspending my campaign, but never my commitment to achieving security through strength for the American people," Graham says in the video.
He entered the race hoping that his conservative national security credentials would appeal to voters, especially in his home state, which holds the nation’s first-in-the-South primary in February. Graham’s campaign also pushed for entitlement reform to reduce spending and the nation's debt and a comprehensive overhaul to the nation’s immigration system.
He also repeated his call for the U.S. to put more troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria and says he believes his presence in the race elevated the conversation about national security. A senator recognized for being hawkish on security and military issues, Graham says most GOP candidates have now "come to recognize this is what's needed" to defeat ISIS.
But Graham’s campaign failed to gain traction, even as terrorism has grown into a major concern among voters in the wake of the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris.
Graham was routinely relegated to the so-called undercard GOP presidential debates - the early sessions before the prime-time debates – because his polling numbers weren’t large enough for him to qualify for the main events.