Sen. Lindsey Graham is in for 2016

ERIN DOOLEY via WORLD NEWS

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is “ready to be commander-in-chief on day one,” the Republican said, announcing his presidential bid from his hometown today.

"I’m pretty sure no one here, including me, ever expected to hear me say, 'I’m Lindsey Graham, and I’m running for president of the United States,'" he told a cheering crowd in Central, South Carolina.

"I have more experience with our national security than any other candidate in this race. That includes you, Hillary," he said. "I know the players, I know our friends and I know our enemies alike -- but most importantly, ladies and gentlemen, they know me."

Graham, a retired Air Force colonel, enters the race just as a fierce battle over national security rages in the Senate.

The South Carolina senator – a noted defense hawk – stands in sharp contrast to fellow 2016 hopeful Sen. Rand Paul, who spent Sunday night railing against the anti-terror PATRIOT act and just last month declared that GOP hawks have contributed to the rise of ISIS.

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