DeSantis ends presidential election campaign, backs Trump

Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, once the leading Republican rival to Donald Trump, ended his election campaign on Sunday and threw his support behind the former president.

DeSantis’s withdrawal, after months of weakening support, leaves only low-polling Nikki Haley standing between Trump and nomination as the Republican Party’s candidate for the US presidential election in November.

In a video message, DeSantis said that following his second place finish last week in the Iowa caucuses he could not ask “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.”

The decision came less than two days before the New Hampshire primary, where polls showed him far behind front-runner Trump and former UN ambassador Haley.

“It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance,” DeSantis said, noting he has had differences with the former president, notably over the coronavirus pandemic.

“He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear or a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.”

Trump stormed to victory in Iowa last Tuesday, with 51 per cent of Republican voters choosing the twice-impeached former president over DeSantis, who gained only 21 per cent, and Haley at 19 per cent.



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