Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Sunday the suspension of his 2024 White House bid, endorsing his former rival, Donald Trump. DeSantis, once considered a significant challenger to Trump, failed to meet expectations, leading to a decline in his presidential campaign.
The decision leaves Donald Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley as the primary candidates in the race, intensifying the competition ahead of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. The move follows DeSantis’s 30-point loss to Trump in the Iowa caucuses, marking the end of a campaign that began with high expectations.
In a video posted on social media, DeSantis expressed support for Trump, acknowledging that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give him another chance. He attacked Nikki Haley, referring to her as representing the “old Republican guard” and “warmed-over corporatism.”
The decision to suspend the campaign was made after discussions began following DeSantis’s disappointing performance in Iowa. Despite his initial advantages, including a substantial political war chest and legislative achievements, DeSantis struggled to gain momentum in the primary.
DeSantis’s endorsement of Trump comes amid their bitter rivalry, with Trump often taunting the Florida governor in personal terms. The endorsement marks a surprising turn of events for DeSantis, who had been a prominent figure in the Republican Party.
Trump’s campaign released a memo highlighting pressure on Haley to win in New Hampshire, suggesting that if she loses, she should unite behind Trump or face embarrassment in her home state of South Carolina.
Trump, addressing DeSantis’s departure at campaign headquarters, welcomed the endorsement and officially retired the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious.” DeSantis’s supporters gathered privately, expressing disappointment but hoping for a viable path forward in 2028.