Sen. Lindsey Graham admitted on the same day he dropped out of the 2016 presidential race that the more moderate wing of the Republican Party is a thing of the past.
"What's happened here is sort of my lane of the party has collapsed," Graham said in an interview with CNN's Kate Bolduan, when asked why he isn't holding out until the South Carolina primary on February 20th.
"At the end of the day, I'm not going to be competitive in my state if I'm not competitive outside my state," Graham said, noting that he was once a front-runner in the state. "South Carolina's been incredibly good to me. I would be competitive in South Carolina, but I've got to show traction outside the state."
Graham was the only Republican in the race who supported a path to citizenship for the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants, putting him at odds with many other candidates and many Republican voters who oppose the Democrats' efforts to secure a path to citizenship. Despite that position, Graham opposed "birthright citizenship," and was also known for his hawkish proposals for fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.
"This is an election for the heart and soul of the Republican Party," Graham said later on. "This is no longer about 2016. This is about who are we as a party, where do we want to go, and where do we take the country."
Graham's exit from the race now leaves 13 candidates in the race. He also added that he has no intention to endorse a candidate at the moment.