"It's been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House. Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty," the Kentucky senator said in a statement on Wednesday, following his fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
Try as he might, Paul failed to break through ahead of all the nonsense spewed by other high-polling candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Even Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina’s campaigns — which are also currently tanking — received more public attention than Paul’s.
What might be most embarrassing for Paul is that he even fell behind Jeb Bush’s train wreck of a campaign in most of the recent polls, THe Huffington Post reports.
While things have been looking grim for Paul for quite some time — especially as his fundraising efforts also fell short of his rivals — his advisers maintained that his campaign could compete with the others.
"Like John McCain in 2008, Senator Paul's campaign isn't showing up in October polling, but will be there when it counts — on Election Day," read a memo released by Paul’s advisers last fall.
Although Paul couldn’t keep up in the end, he bowed out gracefully. "I will continue to carry the torch for Liberty in the United States Senate and I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term," he said.
In his decision to drop out, Paul joins other former candidates Mike Huckabee (R-AR), Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), George Pataki (R-NY), Rick Perry (R-TX), Scott Walker (R-WI) and Rick Santorum (R-PA).
The GOP field is still pretty crowded, with nine White House hopefuls still in the running. However, some should really take a lesson from Paul and know when it’s time to bite the bullet.
Bush, for example, has literally become a joke to voters and politicians alike. It is highly unlikely that he will follow in his father and older brother’s footsteps to become commander in chief.
After a devastating sixth place finish in the Iowa caucuses, “the former Florida governor is facing growing pressure to either demonstrate his appeal to voters or leave the race,” according to the New York Times.
If he doesn’t beat or at least tie with Marco Rubio in the New Hampshire primary, he will officially be out of legs to stand on in this race.
Even his former opponent, Lindsey Graham — who endorsed Bush’s campaign after dropping out of the race — said that if he doesn’t succeed in New Hampshire, “Jeb is toast.”
Based on the crowd’s response at a recent campaign stop outside of Vermont, voters are ready for Bush to just give it up already.
As he finished a fiery riff about protecting the country as commander in chief he said, “I won’t be out here blowharding, talking a big game without backing it up,” but he was met with total silence.
“Please clap,” he said, reportedly sounding defeated.
The crowd laughed — and then, finally, clapped.