During his concession speech in South Carolina tonight, Jeb Bush announced he is ending his presidential campaign and will withdraw from the race. Bush was hoping for a strong 2nd or 3rd place finish as validation for continuing his campaign. At the moment, it appears the best he could hope for is 4th place sitting just ahead of John Kasich but far behind the top three candidates.
Report from The Hill:
Jeb Bush is ending his bid for the White House after a disappointing finish in South Carolina’s primary.
Bush is in fourth place, well behind Donald Trump and Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
He announced to supporters that he would suspend his campaign in sometimes emotional remarks from his headquarters in South Carolina.
Bush failed to finish any higher than fourth place in early GOP contests despite a campaign backed by outside groups spending millions on his behalf.
The ultimate political insider, Bush came from a famous family and rich political connections. But the Bush name seemed to be more of a hindrance in a political cycle dominated by outsiders like Trump.
Trump entered the GOP race a day after Bush, who began his campaign on June 15 as the favorite. Trump’s attacks on Bush as “low-energy” resonated with GOP voters and hurt Bush, who struggled to compete with the business mogul.
The two men were side by side at the first GOP debate in August. Trump dominated that contest, and Bush slowly but surely was pushed farther from the center of stage in later debates as his campaign faltered.
Bush hurt himself with awkward moments on the campaign trail, and he struggled to outmaneuver home-state rival Sen. Marco Rubio with his pitch of experience.
Cruz (R-Texas) also topped Bush in polls and won the Iowa caucuses, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich bested Bush in New Hampshire.
The nail in Bush’s 2016 coffin came this week when South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was tapped to deliver the Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union this year, endorsed Rubio.
Here is the short speech Bush made following his loss in South Carolina:
We’re down to five major candidates now moving forward.