Former GOP candidate, Senator Lindsey Graham says he will not vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Cliinton. Graham, who unsuccessfully campaigned for the Republican nomination himself, said instead he will focus his attention on helping other Republican candidates in South Carolina and maintain the GOP majorities in the House and Senate.
Graham’s announcement, while not surprising considering he once called Trump a “race-baiting xenophobic religious bigot,” illustrates the deep divide in the Republican Party over Trump’s imminent nomination. Graham has also predicted that Trump will lose to Clinton in the fall. Graham says in a statement Friday he “cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as Commander in Chief.”
South Carolina’s senior senator also says he will join a growing list of veteran Republicans, including both Presidents Bush, Mitt Romney, John McCain and others, now declining to attend the party’s convention this summer in Cleveland, Ohio. Graham encouraged Republicans and independents to vote in the November elections, even if they are disappointed in their choices at the top of the ticket.
After the election, regardless of who wins the presidency I will do everything I can to help our new President deal with the many challenges facing our nation,” he said. “The next president will inherit a mess and will need all the help they can get.”
Though he is a conservative Republican, Graham worked with Clinton on several issues in the Senate. Still he says he can’t vote for Clinton for president, arguing that she represents a third term of Barack Obama. Graham endorsed Jeb Bush after ending his own White House bid, and then even backed Sen. Ted Cruz, a colleague he had openly said he disliked.