Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who finished fourth in Saturday’s primary in South Carolina, says he is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
Bush, who at one point appeared likely to become the Republican nominee until the sudden rise of rival Donald Trump, said he was “proud” of his campaign to advocate for conservative solutions. “But the people of Iowa, and New Hampshire, and South Carolina, have spoken, and I really respect their decision, so tonight I am suspending my campaign,” he told supporters.
Bush served as Governor of Florida between 1999 and 2007 and was for years mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2016 election. He officially launched his campaign with a speech at Miami Dade College in Florida in June 2015, but he had already indicated six months earlier that he was “actively exploring” a White House bid.
“When I began this journey in Miami, I committed that I would campaign as I would serve: Going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching, and staying true to what I believe,” Bush said. “For the better part of a year I’ve endeavored to do just exactly that. I’ve put forth a vision for America that includes all because our country deserves a president for everyone. The presidency is bigger than any one person, and it’s certainty bigger than any candidate.”
Bush also appeared to hit out against Trump, who has repeatedly attacked him, though Bush did not mention Trump by name in Saturday’s speech. “I firmly believe the American people must entrust this office to someone who understands that whoever holds it, is a servant, not the master. Someone who will commit to that service with honor and decency.”
Amid continuing attacks from Trump who branded the former governor as “low energy”, Bush had failed to gain momentum during the presidential primaries, failing to win any significant support in either Iowa or New Hampshire. That scenario repeated itself on Saturday, when Bush finished fourth in South Carolina with only 7.9 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results. Trump won with 32.6 percent.
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