Rand Paul suspends presidential campaign

02/03/2016 09:11 AM

UPDATED WITH REACTION, VIDEO MESSAGE FROM PAUL – After a fifth place finish in Iowa, and the very real probability of not qualifying for ABC’s Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire on Saturday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has suspended his campaign for the White House.

In a statement, Paul said it had 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,” Paul said. “Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I.”

Even though Paul is suspending his campaign, the Bowling Green Republican said the fight is far from over.

“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,” Paul said in a statement.

Paul’s campaign sent out a video message from Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator on Wednesday, thanking supporters and promising to use his voice in the upper chamber.

In the commonwealth Paul finds himself in a three-way GOP primary for U.S. Senate, and the possibility of facing a top-tier Democratic challenger in Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the general election.

Gray released a statement on Paul’s decision to drop his presidential run, and focus on his re-election bid in the commonwealth.

“Kentuckians deserve a full-time Senator who is focused on building the middle class, cutting government waste and improving the lives of the people right here at home. That’s what I’ve done as Mayor of Lexington and it’s what I’ll do as Senator,” Gray said in a statement.

“Paul spent years preparing for his presidential campaign and then took even more time away from Kentucky to pursue his personal ambitions,” Gray continue. “Now that he’s failed to catch fire with voters in other states, he’s coming back. Well, we deserve to be more than just a fall back plan. And we certainly deserve a Senator whose focus is on Kentucky, not one focused on planning his next run for President.”

In a statement the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee welcomed Paul back to Kentucky.

“Rand Paul’s longshot Presidential bid comes to an end but the damage to his reputation in Kentucky remains,” said DSCC Communications Director Sadie Weiner in a statement. “Paul has lost support from across the state and been slammed by Republican activists at home after he made clear he viewed the Senate seat as little more than a consolation prize. Rand Paul returns home damaged and completely out-of-touch with the people he’s ignored, and Kentucky is ready for a senator who will always put them first.”


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.