"I’m pretty sure no one here, including me, ever expected to hear me say, 'I’m Lindsey Graham, and I’m running for president of the United States,'" he told a cheering crowd in Central, South Carolina.
"I have more experience with our national security than any other candidate in this race. That includes you, Hillary," he said. "I know the players, I know our friends and I know our enemies alike -- but most importantly, ladies and gentlemen, they know me."
Graham, a retired Air Force colonel, enters the race just as a fierce battle over national security rages in the Senate.
"The Obama Administration, and some of my colleagues in Congress, have substituted wishful thinking for sound national security strategy," Graham, 59, said today. “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."
“Simply put, radical Islam is running wild," he said. "They are large, they are rich, they're entrenched. As president I will make them small, poor and on the run.”
If elected, Graham would be the third unmarried president to take office in U.S. history.