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Lindsey Graham says he might run for president

Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Group / Getty
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

As the GOP's invisible presidential primary stretches on without any one candidate consolidating support, more and more random politicians are wondering — hey, why not me?

Now, in a new interview with the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggests that he might jump in the race, focusing on his hawkish foreign policy views.

In a recent, hour-long interview, Lindsey Graham said if he is reelected to the Senate in November, he will begin exploring a bid for the presidency... "If I get through my general election, if nobody steps up in the presidential mix, if nobody's out there talking​-​me and McCain have been talking​-​I may just jump in to get to make these arguments," Graham said.

As Graham suggests, a presidential run is a great way to get media attention for your ideas — although Graham has never found that particularly difficult. Running on a hawkish platform would certainly be a challenge to Senator Rand Paul, who remains critical of US interventions in the Middle East.

But Graham's comments about another potential candidate from the Senate are perhaps even more interesting than his own potential bid. Marco Rubio was viewed as a top contender as 2013 began, but his chances were damaged when conservatives lost trust in him over the support of the Senate immigration reform bill. Graham, who agreed with Rubio on immigration and worked closely with him on that bill, has also lost confidence in him — for caving too quickly to the right, Hayes writes:

I asked Graham about Rubio. Hasn't he been making many of the arguments you'd be likely to make? Graham wasn't impressed. "He's a good guy, but after doing immigration with him-we don't need another young guy not quite ready," said Graham. "He's no Obama by any means, but he's so afraid of the right, and I've let that go."

Graham has been frequently criticized by Tea Party and conservative groups, but earlier this year, he won his primary easily.

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