“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 wrote in a Facebook statement.
“I will continue to serve in order to restore citizen government to this great nation so that together we may fulfill our potential,” the statement said.
Fiorina, 61, entered the tumultuous Republican primary in April. She promoted herself as an outsider with business experience and argued that as the lone woman in the GOP field she was best positioned to oppose likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. After a standout performance in the first undercard debate, Fiorina rose to the mainstage and soared in the polls in the fall. But her momentum quickly stalled and by the end of the year she had dropped back down.
Fiorina won applause from women on both sides of the aisle in the second Republican debate in September when she was asked to respond to Donald Trump’s comments criticizing her face.
“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” Fiorina said calmly. Trump sought to smooth things over, saying “I think she’s got a beautiful face and I think she’s a beautiful woman.”
Fiorina’s first major foray in to politics was in 2010, when she ran for Senate in California and lost to incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer by 10 points.
Throughout her presidential bid, Fiorina emphasized her meteoric rise in the business world. A Stanford University graduate, she started her career as a secretary, earned an MBA and worked her way up at AT&T to become a senior executive at the telecom giant.
But she was also dogged by questions about her record at Hewlett-Packard, where she was hired as CEO in 1999. She was fired six years later, after leading a major merger with Compaq and laying off 30,000 workers.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is also expected to end his campaign for the Republican nomination for president after a disappointing sixth-place finish in New Hampshire’s primary, two people familiar with his plans told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Christie spokeswoman Samantha Smith said Wednesday that “no decision has been made.” But Christie spoke of his campaign in the past tense at one point in his remarks on Tuesday and cancelled a Wednesday event in next-to-vote South Carolina. The two people familiar with his plans spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.
Word of Christie’s expected plan to call it quits came a few hours before Carly Fiorina announced on social media that she too was dropping out. The former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard won just 4 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. Christie had 7 percent.
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, at points, saw glimmers of hope, 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 has 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.
He’ll return home to finish his second term as governor of New Jersey, where he faces a slew of unsolved problems and rock-bottom approval ratings from residents who, polls show, feel he neglected the state 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.
The terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino in particular played to Christie’s advantage, allowing him to talk about his previous job as a U.S. attorney and play up his law-and-order credentials. And a commanding performance during the last GOP debate before the New Hampshire primary earned him strong reviews.
But with a field filled with numerous other options, including current and former governors and senators, Christie never consolidated support, despite being praised by both fans and rivals as one of the Republican Party’s best communicators.
Christie may have missed a better chance at the White House four year ago, when he was begged by some of his party’s most powerful statesmen and donors to run in 2012. But Christie declined, saying that he didn’t feel like he was ready.
Christie’s aggressive political team worked to rack up endorsements and wide victory margins in his re-election bid for governor as a springboard for 2016. At the same time, his aides took their game of doling out political favors and punishments too far, leading to one of the most dumbfounding political scandals in recent memory, in which aides purposely created traffic jams in the town of Fort Lee to punish the mayor, who chose not to endorse Christie’s re-election.
While Christie first laughed off the suggestion that his team had anything to do with the plot, the denials quickly unraveled following the release of emails, including one from a top aide that read, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
Three people have been indicted in the scheme, including a former high school classmate of the governor who has pleaded guilty and is working with federal prosecutors.
Christie will join the list of Republican who have left the race, including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
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