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Ron DeSantis suspends presidential bid and endorses Trump after campaign meltdown: 2024 live updates

Trump congratulates DeSantis and Haley for having ‘good time together’ after Iowa caucus

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has announced he is pulling out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsing former president Donald Trump.

The former candidate cancelled his Sunday media appearances ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, leading some to speculate about the future of his campaign.

In a video statement posted on X, Mr DeSantis said: “Following our second place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on the way forward. If there was anything I could do to produce a favourable outcome, more campaign stops, more interviews, I would do it.”

He continued: “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.”

Mr DeSantis came in second in the Iowa caucus but several polls had placed the him trailing in third place behind Mr Trump and Nikki Haley in New Hampshire.

If he had received less than 10 per cent of the vote on Tuesday — as recent polls from CNN and Suffolk University suggested could happen — he would have been ineligible to receive any delegates from the state.

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ICYMI: Watch as Nikki Haley reacts to Ron DeSantis dropping out of race

Nikki Haley reacts to Ron DeSantis quitting presidential race

Katie Hawkinson22 January 2024 09:00

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‘It’s not easy’: A reluctant Trump endorsement from DeSantis

Ron DeSantis on Sunday reluctantly endorsed Donald Trump in the presidential race.

“It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance,” Mr DeSantis said, offering matter-of-fact analysis through a forced smile without adding plaudits for Mr Trump.

“I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee, and I will honour that pledge,” he continued, before adding a dig at the remaining contender, Nikki Haley.

Mr DeSantis described the former UN ambassador and one-time South Carolina governor as a stand-in for “the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism”.

Mr Trump seemed unbothered by Mr DeSantis’ approach, striking a tone of camaraderie as fellow political combatants.

“I will tell you it’s not easy,” Mr Trump said on Sunday night in Rochester.

“They think it’s easy doing this stuff, right? It’s not easy.”

Namita Singh22 January 2024 08:00

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ICYMI: California Governor Gavin Newsom mocks Ron DeSantis’ campaign suspension

“Fire sale on all Ron DeSantis merch today!” the Democratic West Coast governor said in a post to X shortly after Mr DeSantis announced the end of his campaign.

The political rivals faced off in a December debate, despite Mr Newsom not currently running for president.

Katie Hawkinson22 January 2024 07:00

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‘Wounded falling bird from sky’: Slide in relationship between Trump and DeSantis

Former president Donald Trump seemed to revel in skewering Ron DeSantis throughout the campaign, often making clear it was a personal grudge because he considered the governor’s decision to run in the first place an act of disloyalty.

Mr Trump endorsed Mr DeSantis, then a congressman, in a competitive 2018 Republican primary for Florida governor.

Mr DeSantis went on to win the nomination and the general election. By the time Mr DeSantis won a landslide re-election four years later, though, he was positioning himself for his own White House campaign.

As recently as November, Mr Trump came to Florida and addressed a boisterous crowd at a state Republican meeting standing in front of a sign that read: “Florida is Trump Country.”

That evening, Mr Trump did not mention Mr DeSantis until more than 30 minutes into his speech. Even then, it was to brag about polls showing his advantages over the governor.

“I endorsed him, and he became a rocket ship in 24 hours,” Mr Trump said, claiming that Mr DeSantis had begged for his endorsement.

“Now he’s like a wounded falling bird from the sky.”

Mr Trump never did debate Mr DeSantis or any other 2024 rival. He has said he would not until one proves they are a legitimate threat to him winning the nomination.

Mr DeSantis concentrated his campaign in recent months in Iowa, where he finished in second place in last week’s caucuses – 30 percentage points behind Mr Trump and barely ahead of Ms Haley.

Ms Haley, meanwhile, has long prioritised New Hampshire as a potential springboard ahead of her home-state South Carolina primary next month.

Namita Singh22 January 2024 06:00

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ICYMI: DeSantis endorsed Trump after dropping out of race

After announcing the end of his presidential bid, the Florida governor announced his endorsement for the former President.

“It’s clear to me a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance,” Mr DeSantis said.

Ron DeSantis ends presidential campaign and endorses Donald Trump

Katie Hawkinson22 January 2024 05:01

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ICYMI: New Hampshire polls showed DeSantis trailing in third place with single digits just before he dropped out of race

Before presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race on Sunday, polls had him in third place significantly behind Nikki Haley.

Mr Trump was polled at 50 per cent in Tuesday’s primary, with Ms Haley in second place at 39 per cent and Mr DeSantis at 6 per cent, according to a CNN poll released on Sunday.

Katie Hawkinson22 January 2024 04:01

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‘It’s not easy’: A reluctant Trump endorsement from DeSantis

Ron DeSantis on Sunday reluctantly endorsed Donald Trump in the presidential race.

“It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance,” Mr DeSantis said, offering matter-of-fact analysis through a forced smile without adding plaudits for Mr Trump.

“I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee, and I will honour that pledge,” he continued, before adding a dig at the remaining contender, Nikki Haley. Mr DeSantis described the former UN ambassador and one-time South Carolina governor as a stand-in for “the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism”.

Mr Trump seemed unbothered by Mr DeSantis’ approach, striking a tone of camaraderie as fellow political combatants.

“I will tell you it’s not easy,” Mr Trump said on Sunday night in Rochester.

“They think it’s easy doing this stuff, right? It’s not easy.”

Namita Singh22 January 2024 03:24

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Donald Trump celebrates Ron Desantis’ decision to end presidential campaign

Donald Trump has celebrated one-time Republican rival Ron DeSantis as his newest supporter after the Florida governor ended his presidential campaign and endorsed the former president.

For Mr Trump, it has become a familiar ritual to welcome the backing of someone who once tried to take him on.

Nonetheless, it was notable at Sunday’s rally in New Hampshire to see Mr Trump praise Mr DeSantis without calling him “DeSantimonious” or “DeSanctus”, putting an end to perhaps the most bitter rivalry of Republicans’ 2024 campaign.

“I just want to thank Ron and congratulate him on doing a very good job,” Mr Trump said at the outset of his remarks.

“He was very gracious, and he endorsed me. I appreciate that, and I also look forward to working with Ron.”

Mr Trump described Mr DeSantis as “a really terrific person”.

Earlier in the day, Mr DeSantis said via video that he would be ending his campaign two days before New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation Republican primary.

Namita Singh22 January 2024 03:07

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ICYMI: Infamous ‘LizaMinnelliOutlives’ X account posts about DeSantis suspending campaign

“Liza Minnelli has outlived Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign. The anti-LGBT bully never gained traction despite spending millions of dollars,” the account said in a post on X shortly after the Republican presidential hopeful suspended his campaign.

Michelle Del Rey22 January 2024 03:00

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The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. When will we have the results?

While New Hampshire is unlikely to face the same kind of harsh weather conditions as the Iowa caucusgoers last week, the results could be delayed by a significant amount of hand-counting or by calls for a recount by a former president who has made a habit of questioning results he doesn’t like.

New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan has told election officials to release the results of the Republican primary ahead of the Democratic results if hand-counting on the left side of the aisle slows down the processing of ballots.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:

Katie Hawkinson22 January 2024 02:00


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