- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday there is a “91 percent” chance he will seek the Republican nomination in 2016, saying he is a proven Capitol Hill problem solver who has “got something to offer.”

The South Carolina Republican signaled his intentions from New Hampshire, where the GOP’s presidential hopefuls congregated this weekend to court voters in the vital primary state.

His confidence surprised “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, who asked if the senator was being serious.

“Yeah, I think so. I’ve got to put the means together,” Mr. Graham said.

His comments come after fellow Republican Carly Fiorina, a former business executive, said there’s a “90 percent” chance she will run.

Three other Republican senators — Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida — have officially entered the contest.

Mr. Graham said Mr. Rubio will be president one day, whether it is in 2016 or sometime later.

“I like Marco,” he said.

For his part, Mr. Graham knows that a serious run would take him through his home state, the third major prize along the primary route.

“If I didn’t think I could win South Carolina, I wouldn’t be talking to you [about the race],” he told Mr. Wallace.

The senator is likely to ride his bona fides as a defense hawk and leading critic of President Obama’s approach to the Islamic State, Syria’s civil war and an emerging nuclear deal with Iran.

Mr. Graham said the president is heading down a dead-end road with Iran, as Capitol Hill moves to have a say in the pact.

“I think Barack Obama’s deal is deteriorating before our eyes,” he said, adding there’s not a “snowball’s chance” the current deal would earn Congress’ blessing.

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