MANCHESTER, N.H. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Sunday he is suspending his 2024 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsing former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis made the announcement in a pre-recorded video, saying he thought long and hard about the decision, realizing there is no path to victory.
“Now, following our second-place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on the way forward,” he 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. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”
DeSantis then endorsed Trump, whom he has criticized on the campaign trail.
“It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance. … While I’ve had disagreements with Donald Trump, such as on the coronavirus pandemic and his elevation of Anthony Fauci, Trump is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear,” DeSantis said. “I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge.”
The decision leaves just Nikki Haley as the lone Republican alternative to Trump remaining in the race.
According to polls, Haley has her best chance at beating Trump in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
DeSantis took a shot at Haley as he gave Trump his endorsement.
“He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents,” he said.
DeSantis’ campaign ended after a poor showing in Iowa, where he finished a distant second place. His campaign’s centered on fighting “woke ideology, which included banning books and classroom curriculum that include LGBTQ+ people in Florida schools. He also opposed transgender students playing in sports that align with their gender identity.
Speculation of DeSantis’ exit came after he canceled appearances on Sunday-morning television programs, including NBC’s Meet The Press and CNN’s State of the Union.
A source familiar with DeSantis’ campaign said he made the decision to exit the race Sunday afternoon.
Haley reacted to the news from the campaign trail, saying it is now officially a two-person race.
“I want to say to Ron, he ran a great race. He’s been a good governor, and we wish him well. Having said that, it’s now one fella and one lady left,” she said.