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 TrumpDonald TrumpBiden: I regret not running for president De Blasio blames Trump for 'dynamic of hatred' in US Dem to Trump: 'You truly are an evil man' MORE, Marco RubioMarco RubioSenators introduce new Iran sanctions Senate intel panel has not seen Nunes surveillance documents: lawmakers With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder MORE and Ted CruzTed CruzHow 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation AIPAC must reach out to President Trump Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE.
“I’m proud of the campaign we’ve run to unify our country and to advocate conservative solutions that would give more Americans the opportunity to rise up and reach their God-given potential," he said.
“But the people of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision. So tonight I’m suspending my campaign,” said Bush, choking up.
Bush's wife Columba, who was also on stage, was visibly emotional as she wiped away tears after Bush's comments.
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.
“Because despite what you might have heard, ideas matter. Policy matters,” Bush added.
Bush hurt himself with awkward moments on the campaign trail, and he struggled to outmaneuver home-state rival Rubio with his pitch of experience.
Cruz also topped Bush in polls and won the Iowa caucuses, while 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.
Lisa Hagen contributed