MANCHESTER, N.H. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, once seen as the most formidable opponent to Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary, suspended his race Sunday and endorsed the former president.
The move comes two days before the New Hampshire primary.
DeSantis made the announcement in a video on X — the same social media platform where he did the glitchy rollout of his White House bid.
“Now, following our second-place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on the way forward," 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. We don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign."
"It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance," he said, adding, "He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, or repackage formed of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents."
DeSantis sought to position himself as an alternative to Trump, trying to cast himself as a politically successful heir to the MAGA movement and its preferred policies without Trump’s baggage. But in his bid to court Trump’s supporters, DeSantis was slow to meaningfully criticize the former president and was unable to peel away enough of his support. DeSantis’ embrace of hard-right policies also led moderate Republicans and independents to look elsewhere in their search for a candidate to steer the GOP in a different direction than Trump.
Ultimately, DeSantis was only able to notch a distant second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.