In a move that turns the Republican Party presidential race to a two-person race, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended his campaign. Despite finishing second in last Monday’s Iowa caucuses, DeSantis said that he could not see a clear path to victory.
Announcing his decision on Sunday, 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 if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign. I’m proud to have delivered on 100% of my promises, and I will not stop now.”
DeSantis, who consistently polled at second place throughout his presidential bid, endorsed former President Donald Trump, who has consistently led the polls since the beginning of his race.
For DeSantis, the Iowa caucuses showed that a majority of GOP primary voters support Trump’s bid and want to give him another chance.
“They watch his presidency gets stymied by relentless resistance, and they see Democrats using lawfare to this day to attack him. 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,” he said.
In a jab to former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the governor added that Trump was also superior to the former U.N. ambassador who he said stood for “a repackaged form of warmed over corporatism.”
In his words, “I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge. 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.”
DeSantis’ endorsement pleased Trump himself, who had good words for his former rival, who he had previously dubbed “DeSanctimonious,” during a rally in New Hampshire on Sunday night.
“Before we begin, I’d like to take time to congratulate Ron DeSantis and, of course, a really terrific person who I’ve gotten to know, his wife Casey, for having run a great campaign for president,” he said, adding, “He did. He ran a really good campaign. I will tell you, it’s not easy.”
Acknowledging the strength in DeSantis’ decision, Trump went further, saying, “They think it’s easy doing this stuff, right? It’s not easy. But as you know, he left the campaign trail today at 3pm. And in so doing, he was very gracious and he endorsed me, so I appreciate it. I appreciate that. And I also look forward to working with Ron and everybody else to defeat crooked Joe Biden, we will have to get him out. He’s put our country at great peril, at great peril. So I just want to thank Ron and congratulate him on doing a very good job. It’s a tough situation. It’s a tough thing to do.”
DeSantis received a ton of praise among Trump’s supporters for his decision to quit the game and endorse Trump.
“Happy to see @RonDeSantis endorse my father and call to unite the entire GOP around him to defeat RINO Nikki Haley and ultimately, Crooked Joe Biden. We need the entire America First movement working together as a team to defeat the radical left in November!!!” Trump.s son, Donald Trump Jr. wrote on X.
Happy to see @RonDeSantis endorse my father and call to unite the entire GOP around him to defeat RINO Nikki Haley and ultimately, Crooked Joe Biden. We need the entire America First movement working together as a team to defeat the radical left in November!!!
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 21, 2024
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee wrote, “I’ve been @realDonaldTrump supporter since he entered the 2024 race but salute RDS for a classy and timely exit and unifying endorsement of Trump.”
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) January 21, 2024
Another prominent Trump supporter, Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also tweeted, “Welcome Home, Ron! It’s great to have America’s Governor back onside.”
Welcome Home, Ron!
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 21, 2024