Ron DeSantis ends presidential bid days before N.H. primary

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was suspending his presidential bid Sunday, ending a campaign that was initially considered the most serious challenge to former President Trump but that fizzled over the course of a year.

In a video posted to social media Sunday, DeSantis said he and his campaign “prayed and deliberated” about how to move forward after finishing a distant second in the Iowa caucuses. He endorsed Trump, saying it was now clear that “a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance.”

“I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory,” he added. “Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”

DeSantis received 21.2% of the vote in Iowa, well behind Trump’s 51% and just two points ahead of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who had 19.1%.

DeSantis said he disagreed with Trump over his handling of the pandemic and his “elevation” of chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci, but argued that the former president “is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden.”

He also took a dig at Haley, who has steadily risen in the polls.

“We can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents,” DeSantis said.

“Boy are things changing fast,” Haley said at a campaign event in New Hampshire after hearing the news, according to a video posted on X.

DeSantis’ sudden departure from the race throws the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday into a scramble between Haley and Trump.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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