Jennifer Shutt, Georgia Recorder
January 21, 2024
WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis withdrew from the Republican race for the presidential nomination on Sunday, less than two days before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
DeSantis, who came in second in the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses on Jan. 15, released a nearly five-minute video on social media announcing that he had suspended his campaign and was endorsing the front-runner, former President Donald Trump.
“Following our second-place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on the way forward,” DeSantis said. “If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome, more campaign stops, more interviews, I would do it. But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources. We don’t have a clear path to victory.”
While DeSantis said he’s had disagreements with Trump, including on how he handled COVID-19 while president, the governor said he believes Trump is “superior” to President Joe Biden.
“He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, or repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents,” DeSantis said, referring to the former United Nations ambassador from South Carolina who is seeking the nomination. “The days of putting Americans last, of kowtowing to large corporations, of caving to woke ideology are over.”
Haley, speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, said she wished DeSantis well and noted the Republican presidential primary is now just her and Trump.
“There were 14 people in this race. There were a lot of fellas. All the fellas are out, except for this one,” she said, according to a video posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. “And this comes down to what do you want: Do you want more of the same or do you want something new?”
Haley said in a written statement that the campaign for the Republican nomination is far from over.
“So far, only one state has voted. Half of its votes went to Donald Trump, and half did not,” she said. “We’re not a country of coronations. Voters deserve a say in whether we go down the road of Trump and Biden again, or we go down a new conservative road. New Hampshire voters will have their say on Tuesday.”
The Trump campaign thanked DeSantis for his endorsement and maligned Haley in a written statement.
“Nikki Haley is the candidate of the globalists and Democrats who will do everything to stop the America First movement,” the Trump campaign said. “From higher taxes, to decimating Social Security and Medicare, and to open borders, she represents the views of Democrats more than the views of Republicans.”
Democratic National Committee National press secretary Sarafina Chitika rebuked DeSantis in a written statement, saying that his campaign ran on “pledging to ban abortion nationwide, rip away access to health care, and gut Social Security and Medicare, while embracing election deniers and whitewashing January 6.”
“Whichever candidate wins the race for the MAGA base will be left running on the same dangerous and unpopular anti-freedom agenda that voters will reject in November,” Chitika said.
Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, posted on social media that all GOP lawmakers should line up behind Trump.
“Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee,” Daines wrote. “I am encouraging every Republican to unite behind him because it will take all of us to defeat Joe Biden, take back the Senate, and hold the House.”
Virginia Rep. Bob Good, chairman of the U.S. House Freedom Caucus, posted on social media that he’s now supporting Trump for president.
“It is my privilege to provide my complete and total endorsement for Donald J. Trump as the 47th President of the United States,” Good wrote. “President Trump was the greatest President of my lifetime, and we need him to reinstate the policies that were working so well for America.”
Jacob Fischler contributed to this report.
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