New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has dropped out of the Republican nomination for president, a day after his disappointing sixth-place finish in New Hampshire’s primary.
Campaign spokeswoman Samantha Smith yesterday said Christie shared his decision with staff at his campaign headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, yesterday afternoon, and was calling donors and other supporters.
Christie on Tuesday night told supporters he was heading home to New Jersey to “take a deep breath,” await the final tally of results from New Hampshire and decide what to do next. He said he was leaving New Hampshire “without an ounce of regret,” but spoke of his campaign in the past tense at one point and canceled yesterday event in next-to-vote South Carolina.
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Carly Fiorina, another Republican candidate, also announced on social media that she, too, was calling it quits. Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, won just 4 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. Christie had 7 percent.
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“While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them,” Fiorina said in a Facebook post.
Christie had been banking on a strong finish in New Hampshire and spent more than 70 days campaigning in the state, holding well-received town halls and meet-and-greets.
But Tuesday’s result appeared to be the final blow for a candidate whose campaign saw glimmers of hope at times, but had trouble from the get-go raising money and building support in a crowded Republican field dominated by another brash East Coaster, businessman Donald Trump.
While Trump posed a challenge to the entire Republican field, his dominance seemed especially damaging to Christie, who had branded himself the “telling it like it is” candidate.
When he returns home to finish his second term as governor, Christie will face a slew of unsolved problems and rock-bottom approval ratings from residents who, polls show, feel he neglected New Jersey to pursue his national ambitions.
Christie racked up a long list of notable endorsements from state legislative leaders in New Hampshire. At the end of 2015, he appeared to be breaking into the top tier after a video of him discussing a friend’s struggle with drug addiction went viral.