Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain at a NH Primary anniversary celebration

Mar 2, 2015 3:13 PM

Paul Steinhauser: SC Sen. Lindsey Graham NH bound

NH1 Political Director -

CONCORD - Senator Lindsey Graham's coming to New Hampshire next week.

But wait, there's more. He's coming back the following week as well.

The South Carolina Republican - who's mulling a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, will headline a "Politics and Eggs" breakfast next Monday, March 9, at the Bedford Village Inn.

The series, hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College and the New England Council, has become a must attend event for White House hopefuls.

"This will be Sen. Graham's first trip to New Hampshire since forming a committee to test the waters for a potential presidential run. He's looking forward to the opportunity to speak directly to New Hampshire voters and activists about national security, foreign policy and securing America's economic strength for the future," Graham political adviser Christian Ferry told NH1.

Other details on the trip's itinerary have yet to be released.

Eight days later, Graham will be in the first-in-the-nation primary state again, appearing at the "Wild Irish Breakfast" in Nashua on St. Patrick's Day.

NH1 interviewed Graham last month, at a New Hampshire Primary Centennial celebration at the Newseum in Washington DC that NH1 and WBIN-TV co-hosted.

Standing next to Graham was his good friend Sen. John McCain of Arizona. The 2008 Republican presidential nominee said that if his friend from South Carolina runs for the nomination, he'll lend a helping hand on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

McCain told NH1 that "of course I'd be there as much as possible, which would be a lot, because one, it's a lot of fun. There's nothing quite as exciting as those last couple of weeks before the primary in all of American politics."

Asked if he'll give some of Graham some of his Granite State mojo, the two-time winner of the GOP primary laughed, but added he's still "got some good friends up there."

McCain praised Graham, saying "I believe in him."

Graham's said he was looking forward to visiting the first-in-the-nation primary state. While foreign policy and national security are shaping up to be important issues in the 2016 presidential cycle, Graham would be considered a longshot if he does launch a campaign.

Graham, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, praised his longtime friend, who's the committee's chairman.

"We'll see if I run, but at the end of the day, one of the highlights of my life, and he's been my friend for years, is for him to believe that I'd be a good commander in chief in these difficult times. That means a lot to me," Graham said, as he stood next to McCain.

Steve Duprey, one of the Granite State’s two committee members on the Republican National Committee, told NH1 that he thinks “Sen. Graham could be a very strong contender. He is one of the most, if not the most, experienced candidate on both foreign-policy and military matters and he has been ahead of almost every other Senator in foreseeing the threat posed by Isis and other world terror groups.”

I have seen Sen. Graham campaign in South Carolina and I think he would do very well in town hall meeting type engagements with the voters of New Hampshire,” added Duprey, who as a top political adviser to McCain in his 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns, and who’s also close to Graham.


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