Gabbard, Weld Drop Out of 2020 Presidential Race

March 19, 2020 by Dan McCue
Election 2020 Bloomberg American Samoa

WASHINGTON – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld have ended their 2020 election bids.

Gabbard, who endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, left the race after poor showings in every primary and caucus but one — American Samoa, which she won, garnering two delegates.

Weld, meanwhile, announced he was suspending his quixotic campaign for the 2020 Republican nomination hours after the incumbent, President Donald Trump, secured the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination at the party’s summer convention.

In a statement, Gabbard said Biden’s recent triumphs in successive weeks of primaries showed Democratic voters have made their choice for a presidential nominee.

“Although I may not agree with the vice president on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and is motivated by his love for our country and the American people,” she said. “I’m confident that he will lead our country guided by the spirit of aloha — respect and compassion — and thus help heal the divisiveness that has been tearing our country apart,” she said.

During her candidacy, Gabbard appeared often on Fox News Channel and angered fellow Democrats by voting “present” on the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

She also faced persistent criticism for her 2017 meeting in Syria with President Bashar Assad, whose government has been accused of chemical weapons attacks against its own citizens.

In October, she announced she wouldn’t be seeking reelection to her congressional seat, instead focusing on her presidential bid.

On Thursday she said, “I feel that the best way I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and wellbeing of the people of Hawaii and our country in Congress, and to stand ready to serve in uniform should the Hawaii National Guard be activated.”

Weld is the final major Republican challenger to Trump to leave the race.

In doing so Wednesday evening, he said via email that he is “intensely grateful to all the patriotic women and men who have stood with me and supported me during the past eleven months.”

“Since announcing my candidacy less than a year ago, tens of thousands of supporters and donors like you all across the nation joined the cause, working day and night to promote strong, experienced, decent leadership for the United States,” he said. “You are determined, creative, and indefatigable in your efforts to give Americans a better choice in the 2020 presidential election.”

Weld was a 2016 vice presidential candidate on the Libertarian ticket and served as Massachusetts governor in the 1990s.

His bid failed to gain traction as the Republican Party increasingly closed ranks around the president, with a number of states canceling their primaries and other nominating contests.

Two other Republican candidates have already ended their bids: Joe Walsh, a former congressman from Illinois, and Mark Sanford, a former South Carolina governor and congressman.

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