After a sixth place finish in New Hampshire’s Republican primary on Tuesday, Chris Christie is calling it quits.
The New Jersey governor made the decision after conferring with major donors. He concluded that he did not have the financial support to continue his campaign, reports CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett, citing a senior campaign source.
Christie spent significant campaign resources on the New Hampshire primary, wooing voters and banking on the state’s famous friendliness to governors running for the GOP nomination. Last week, Christie received plaudits for his debate takedown of rival Marco Rubio in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he slammed the Florida senator for his automaton-like answers to moderators’ questions.
But on Tuesday night, Christie finished with just single-digit support, behind Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Rubio. After a poor showing in Iowa, Christie is the only candidate left running who has so far accumulated zero delegates.
Christie addressed his backers at a primary night event in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Thanking volunteers and supporters, Christie said he did “not regret one minute” of the time spent in the early-voting state.
“I have both won elections that I was supposed to lose and I’ve lost elections I was supposed to win. And what that means is you never know and it’s both the magic and the mystery of politics – that you never quite know when which is going to happen, even when you think you do,” he said. “We leave New Hampshire tonight without an ounce of regret, not for the time we’ve spent, and for the thousands of people tonight in New Hampshire who will have voted for us. We thank each and every one of them.”
Of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Christie said he “deserves congratulations” for winning the support of Granite State voters.
Trump, for his part, told “CBS This Morning” that Christie had called to congratulate him, and said in an interview on Fox News, “Frankly, Chris is somebody that maybe wouldn’t have to get out. I think somebody like Jeb Bush has far less talent than Chris, and he’s still in so you know, it’s one of those things.”
The New Jersey Republican announced Tuesday that he would be heading back to his home state, instead of continuing on to campaign in South Carolina, the last primary state before March’s Super Tuesday contests.
Carly Fiorina is dropping out of the presidential race.
After a weak showing in New Hampshire last night, Fiorina becomes the second candidate, after Chris Christie, to bow out today.
Here’s the full statement she posted to Facebook:
This campaign was always about citizenship – taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected. Election after election, the same empty promises are made and the same poll-tested stump speeches are given, but nothing changes. I’ve said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I’m not going to start now. 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.
Our Republican Party must fight alongside these Americans as well. We must end crony capitalism by fighting the policies that allow it to flourish. We must fix our festering problems by holding our bloated, inept government bureaucracy accountable. Republicans must stand for conservative principles that lift people up and recognize all Americans have the right to fulfill their God-given potential.
To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you. Do not listen to anyone who says you have to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate because you’re a woman. That is not feminism. Feminism doesn’t shut down conversations or threaten women. It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent. A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership.
As I have said to the many wonderful Americans I have met throughout this campaign, a leader is a servant whose highest calling is to unlock potential in others. I will continue to serve in order to restore citizen government to this great nation so that together we may fulfill our potential.