Ron DeSantis has suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, saying he would throw his support behind Donald Trump.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended his 2024 presidential bid Sunday, endorsing former President Donald Trump and bringing a quiet end to a campaign that had long been seen as the most viable Republican alternative to the 45th president.
“Following our second place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on the way forward. If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome — more campaign stops, more interviews - I would do it,” DeSantis announced in a video address.
“But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time, and donate their resources, if we don’t have a clear path to victory,” the 45-year-old added.
“Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”
DeSantis said although he has had “disagreements“ with former President Donald Trump, the 77-year-old “is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear.”
The now ex-candidate added he was endorsing Trump because “we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that [GOP rival] Nikki Haley represents.
“The days of putting Americans last, of kowtowing to large corporations, of caving to woke ideology, are over.”
South Carolina state Sen. Josh Kimbrell, who was the first elected official to back DeSantis in Haley’s home state, immediately threw his weight behind Trump as well following DeSantis’ announcement.
Speculation about DeSantis ending his campaign was fueled by his single-digit polling numbers in New Hampshire.
As late as Friday, DeSantis maintained he would continue on in the race until he didn’t see a “path forward,” telling conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt he “100%” had the resources to campaign through the end of March, by which point most states will have held their Republican primaries and caucuses.
Trump and Haley had already acted as if DeSantis was out of the race once in New Hampshire, with both candidates barely mentioning the Florida governor on the Granite State stump.
Trump, 77, stormed to victory in Iowa last Tuesday, with 51 percent of Republican voters choosing the twice-impeached former president over DeSantis, who gained only 21 percent, and Haley at 19 percent.
No candidate has ever lost the race after claiming the first two states, and Trump would almost certainly declare the Republican nomination over with a win in New Hampshire.
Haley had largely refrained from hitting out at Trump’s many controversies surrounding his candidacy, but in the past week began questioning his mental acuity, making comparisons between the ex-president and the 81-year-old incumbent Democrat Joe Biden.