Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is dropping out of the presidential race.
“While we have run a campaign that has made a real difference, I have concluded this is not my time,” he said in a statement Monday.
“I am suspending my campaign but never my commitment to achieving security through strength for the American people,” he said.
Graham, who first told CNN of his decision in an interview, faced a deadline Monday to be removed from the GOP primary ballot in his home state of South Carolina. Graham has been mired at the bottom of polls – both nationally and in his home state – and could have faced an embarrassing showing in the state’s February primary.
In the CNN interview, Graham said it was “the joy of my life” to run for president. He did not disclose which Republican candidate he plans to endorse but noted that Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush “get it” when it comes to foreign policy.
A supporter of comprehensive immigration reform and an aggressive interventionist foreign policy, Graham never gained traction as a presidential candidate despite his extensive national security experience and the quick wit he displayed on the campaign trail.
Read more: NBC News