Sen. Lindsey Graham, vocal supporter of Israel, launches presidential bid

Sen. Lindsey Graham. Credit: U.S. Senate.

( U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced his bid for president on Monday, joining an increasingly crowded Republican field. 

Graham has been a vocal supporter of Israel and a fierce critic of President Barack Obama’s policies on the Jewish state. Amid his presidential candidacy announcement, Graham tweeted, “To our friends in Israel, I will never abandon you. I will always stand firm in supporting the one and only Jewish state.” He added, “Our ally Israel is at risk as a result of Obama’s failed leadership. We share values, we share democracy, & our friendship is unbreakable.”

During a visit to Israel last week, Graham vowed a “violent backlash” against any nation looking to push for a Palestinian statehood resolution in the United Nations Security Council.

“If there’s an effort by any nation to have the [U.N.] Security Council define the terms of the peace process, there will be a violent backlash from the United States Congress in a bipartisan fashion,” Graham said.

Graham’s remarks alluded to a recently announced proposal by France that vowed to recognize a Palestinian state if there is no agreement between Israel and the Palestinians through an upcoming French-backed U.N. Security Council resolution.

The other announced Republican presidential candidates include U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), as well as former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, former New York governor George Pataki, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. 

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are running for president on the Democratic side.

Posted on June 1, 2015 .