Buying of the President

Published — June 1, 2015 Updated — December 31, 2015 at 2:00 pm ET

9 things to know about Lindsey Graham

Senator known for supporting Israel, campaign finance regulation


Update, Dec. 21, 2015: Lindsey Graham has decided to end his 2016 presidential campaign.

A foreign policy hawk and staunch defender of Israel, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will today declare himself a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

In Congress, Graham has been involved with numerous high-profile legislative battles, including national security issues, immigration reform, energy policy and campaign finance regulation.

Here’s more about the political and financial history of this three-term senator who’d like to become the next president.

  • American Israel Public Affairs Committee board members helped bankroll a pro-Lindsey Graham super PAC in 2014. Graham has called Israel the “best friend” of the United States.
  • Lindsey Graham was among the attendees of an off-the-record retreat at a Georgia luxury resort earlier this year.
  • Lindsey Graham’s campaign was responsible for about 40 percent of the 13,300 TV ads that aired during his 2014 re-election bid.
  • Who was Lindsey Graham’s top contributor in his last campaign? Employees of SCANA, owner of South Carolina’s largest utility.
  • Lindsey Graham’s PAC made a dozen contributions to anti-abortion groups and pregnancy centers in 2013 and 2014.
  • The National Right to Life Committee ranks Graham as voting with them on 89 out of 95 key votes. Where they differed most? Campaign finance reform, which Graham supported.
  • Earlier this year, Lindsey Graham warned that too much money would “destroy American politics.”

Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, as well as Bloomberg, Center for Responsive Politics, Federal Election Commission, Kantar Media/CMAG, Mother Jones, National Right to Life Committee and YouTube

Image sources: Jim Cole/AP,, John Orell/ Flickr

Read more in Money and Democracy

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