Ron DeSantis suspends presidential campaign after second-place finish in Iowa

DeSantis Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivers remarks during the FOX Business Republican Primary Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Sept. 27, 2023, in Simi Valley, California. | Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sunday announced the suspension of his presidential campaign nearly one week after the Republican finished a distant second in the Iowa caucuses.

DeSantis had captured about 20% of the vote in Iowa on Monday, finishing well behind former President Donald Trump’s 51% showing. On Sunday afternoon DeSantis said in a video posted to X that he was “suspending [his] campaign.”

“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 if we don’t have a clear path to victory,” he said.

DeSantis in the announcement endorsed Trump for the presidency, stating: “It is clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance.”

“I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge,” he said.

“While this campaign has ended, the mission continues,” the governor added. “Down here in Florida, we will continue to show the country how to lead.”

DeSantis, a Catholic, spent much of his time on the campaign trail touting his record as governor of Florida. In August, at the first Republican primary debate, the Republican boasted of having won a “landslide” reelection victory after having supported and signed a pro-life “heartbeat” bill in Florida.

“You got to do what you think is right,” DeSantis said at the time. “I believe in a culture of life. I was proud to sign the heartbeat bill.” 

Earlier this month, speaking to EWTN News President and COO Montse Alvarado, DeSantis again argued for standing up for one’s beliefs while in public office.

“Why are you in office?” he told Alvarado. “Are you in office to put your finger in the wind and try to contort yourself into a pretzel, or are you in office to be able to stand up for things that you believe in?”

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