Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday that he will discuss his potential plans to run for president in a June 1 speech—then began an answer to a question on CBS’s This Morning with the words “I’m running because … ”—suggesting that he is, in fact, planning to join the large crowd of candidates competing for his party’s 2016 nomination. A report by ABC News, meanwhile, indicates that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also planning a run that he’ll announce officially in June or July.
Graham and Kasich both seem likely to present themselves as moderate candidates with potential bipartisan appeal. Kasich has won election twice in Ohio, a state that Barack Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012, and unlike a number of other Republican governors, Kasich has participated in the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid at the state level. Graham’s willingness to compromise with Democrats on issues such as immigration has long made him a target of conservative activists who call him a RINO, aka Republican In Name Only. (Graham is also, however, an advocate of an aggressive foreign policy who has been critical of Obama’s handling of the Middle East.)
Other announced or presumed candidates for the 2016 GOP nomination, in rough order of presumed electoral potential, include Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, and Chris Christie.