Rep. Senator Lindsey Graham ends White House bid

Graham says the Senate will strip ACA language from the CR and avoid a shutdown. | AP Photo (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

NBC News – Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is dropping out of the presidential race.

"While we have run a campaign that has made a real difference, I have concluded this is not my time," he said in a statement Monday

Graham, who first told CNN of his decision in an interview, faced the deadline Monday to be removed from the ballot in his home state of South Carolina. Graham has been mired at the bottom of polls - both nationally and in his home state - and could have faced an embarrassing showing in the state's February primary.

The hawkish South Carolina senator had been the Republican field's most vociferous early critic of Donald Trump.

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