Lindsey Graham to Trump (copy)

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday tweeted he would support President Donald Trump in his 2020 re-election bid. File/Andrew Harnik/AP

Out of the blocks early, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday vowed to support President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election bid. 

The show of solidarity from the South Carolina Republican comes as many other members of the GOP are waiting to weigh in on their party leader.

Graham, who has butted heads with the president in the past and also faced him as a 2016 GOP presidential primary challenger, fired off two tweets stating his support for the sitting president.

In the post, Graham tagged Trump, an active social media user, when he tweeted: "As to the 2020 presidential race, I believe President @realDonaldTrump will run for reelection and I intend to support him."

He added in a second tweet, "I expect we will – at times – continue to have differences. I will continue to speak my mind, just like I know he will. I think that makes us both better."

Graham's support came after various House and Senate Republicans told CNN they were not ready to endorse Trump for a second term.

Among the more than two dozen GOP lawmakers polled was South Carolina congressman Mark Sanford, R-Mount Pleasant, who declined to weigh in.

"I'm worried about my own race right now," Sanford said.

Sanford is facing four challengers, two Republicans and two Democrats, in his re-election bid for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District.

About an hour after Graham tweeted his support for Trump, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster chimed in with his support of the 45th president.

McMaster in 2016 officially nominated Trump for president at the Republican National Convention.

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"President Trump has done an outstanding job delivering results for the American people. I was proud to be one of the first to stand with him in 2016, and I proudly support him now," McMaster tweeted.

The early support from Graham marks an interesting evolution in his relationship with Trump, considering Graham went on national television during the presidential primaries and called Trump a "kook" who was "unfit for office."

Graham's comments also come the same week that a new statewide poll from Winthrop University found Graham has a 51 percent approval rating among S.C. Republicans.

GOP support for Trump in the Palmetto State was 80 percent.

Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.

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