South Carolina’s senior senator said Friday he will not vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the presidential election this fall.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who dropped out of the GOP presidential primary following months of low poll numbers, released a statement amid reports of former Trump opponents like ex-Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Kentucky US Sen. Rand Paul indicated they would back the Republican frontrunner.
“I absolutely will not support Hillary Clinton for president. She represents the third term of Barack Obama, and our nation cannot afford to continue those failed policies at home or abroad,” he said in the statement. “I also cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as Commander in Chief.”
When asked by CNN later Friday, Graham said he does not know if he will write in a name or not vote for the White House race at all. He did say he would not endorse a third-party candidate and would still vote in other South Carolina elections, particularly in helping the GOP keep its majorities in the House and Senate.
Trump responded by calling Graham a “poor representative and embarrassment to the Republican Party.”
“I fully understand why Lindsey Graham cannot support me,” Trump said in his own statement. “If I got beaten as badly as I beat him, and all the other candidates he endorsed, I would not be able to give my support, either.”
He also said he will not attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.