DeSantis ends presidential campaign, endorses Trump

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sunday officially suspended his presidential campaign and endorsed former President Donald Trump.

"It's clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance," DeSantis said in a video posted to social media announcing the suspension of his campaign. "I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee, and I will honor that pledge."

In his endorsement of Trump, DeSantis also took shots at former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, who he said represents the "old Republican guard."

The Florida governor began to tell his closest supporters he was planning to quit the presidential race earlier in the day.

In a message to top supporters sent Sunday, DeSantis said he sees no path forward after his distant second-place finish in must-win Iowa on Monday. Polls showed him a distant third in single digits ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

DeSantis arrived last night in Tallahassee, where he cut his resignation video.

His decision to quit the race and simultaneously endorse Trump heeded the advice of one adviser who was hoping two days before the Monday Iowa caucus that he would get it all over with.

"It’s better to swallow the shit sandwich whole rather than chew it in small bites,” the adviser told The Messenger at the time.

DeSantis probably would have heeded the advice to quit the Iowa race, but large mainstream media outlets called the race so early that some Iowans hadn’t even cast their ballots yet.

DeSantis and senior advisers got so blindingly angry that it delayed his decision to quit for days.

But as the polling unfolded and with money all but drying up, DeSantis increasingly came to admit the inevitable — he had to quit.

DeSantis made up his mind before he was to appear Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union show and NBC’s Meet The Press. So he canceled those appearances but refused to admit his race was over in everything but name.

Secretive and insistent on controlling his own "narrative," DeSantis had his campaign claim it was holding an event in New Hampshire on Sunday evening.

But he had gotten home on Saturday night in Tallahassee and had no intention of traveling to the Manchester, New Hampshire event.

"We probably couldn’t afford the airfare to New Hampshire anyway," one former campaign employee deadpanned.

The update comes almost a week after the Florida governor finished almost 30 points behind Trump in the Iowa caucuses, with former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley on his heels. DeSantis' campaign funneled resources and manpower into Iowa, including making a 99-county trek across the state, in the hopes that the Florida governor would gain momentum.

DeSantis' exit makes the Republican primary a two-way race between Trump and Haley with the New Hampshire primary approaching Tuesday.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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