DeSantis Bows Out, Throws Support Behind Trump: He’s ‘Superior to the Current Incumbent’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis withdrew from the race for the Republican nomination Sunday and endorsed Donald Trump, saying he has differences with the former president but believes he is “superior to the current incumbent Joe Biden.”

DeSantis’ withdrawal came six days after his second-place finish in Iowa and two days before Tuesday’s New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary. 

His exit leaves only two major candidates in the GOP race: Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

DeSantis is the current governor of Florida. 

“Following our second-place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on the way forward,” DeSantis said in a video posted on his social media accounts. “If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome – more campaign stops, more interviews – I would do it. But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”

It is “clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance,” DeSantis said. 

“While I’ve had disagreements with Donald Trump, such as on the Coronavirus pandemic and his elevation of Anthony Fauci, Trump is superior to the current incumbent Joe Biden,” he said. “That is clear. I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge. He has my endorsement.”

DeSantis said he ran for president to “fight for those who have been forgotten in this country.”

“This is America’s time for choosing – we can choose to allow a border invasion or we can choose to stop it,” he said. “We can choose reckless borrowing and spending, or we can choose to limit government and lower inflation. We can choose political indoctrination, or we can choose classical education. These choices are symptoms of the underlying struggle to ensure that constitutional government can endure and that Western civilization can survive.”

The Florida governor ended his four-minute speech with a nod to the future, perhaps to the 2028 election. 

“Winston Churchill once remarked that success is not final, failure is not fatal – it is the courage to continue that counts,” he said. “While this campaign has ended, the mission continues. Down here in Florida, we will continue to show the country how to lead.”

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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