NASHUA, N.H. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination for president after failing to break out from a field in which non-traditional candidates are making strides.
Christie made the decision after a conference call with major donors and concluded that he did not have the financial support to continue his campaign, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett reported earlier.
Christie made it official later Wednesday and posted the following statment on his Facebook page:
“I ran for president with the message that the government needs to once again work for the people, not the people work for the government. And while running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed – that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation.”
“That message was heard by and stood for by a lot of people, but just not enough and that’s ok. I have both won elections that I was supposed to lose and I’ve lost elections I was supposed to win and what that means is you never know what will happen. That is both the magic and the mystery of politics – you never quite know when which is going to happen, even when you think you do. And so today, I leave the race without an ounce of regret. I’m so proud of the campaign we ran, the people that ran it with me and all those who gave us their support and confidence along the way. Mary Pat and I thank you for the extraordinary display of loyalty, friendship, understanding and love.”
Christie had banked his campaign on a strong finish in New Hampshire, but placed sixth despite having spent more than 70 days campaigning in the state.
It was 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.
Union Township resident Anthony Trusso told CBS2’s Christine Sloan he believes it was a mistake for the New Jersey governor to run for the White House.
“I think he should have just stayed in New Jersey and not gone to presidential level,” Trusso said.
According to Montclair State University political science professor Brigid Harrison, Trump’s presence in the race was a big setback for Christie, WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported. While the two candidates are ideologically different, their personal style is similar.
“Donald Trump captures some of that angry Republican voter who agrees with the kind of ‘telling it like it is,'” Harrison said.
Peter Woolley, a political analyst from Fairleigh Dickinson University, told CBS2 that he doesn’t believe Christie would be a good vice presidential fit, but could see him serving in a Republican administration.
“There’s the possibility that if a Republican were to win in November’s presidential race that Christie might get an offer to join a Republican presidential administration,” Woolley told CBS2.
Woolley added, however, that Christie would be better off served focusing on his legacy in New Jersey.
“We have a transportation trust fund which is all but bankrupt; bridges, roads and tunnels which are decaying; pension system that’s over-promised and over-funded,” he said.
Earlier Wednesday, Christie canceled an event in South Carolina and changed his campaign schedule. The original plan was to fly to South Carolina to continue campaigning, but instead, the governor went home to New Jersey, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
Christie had staked his campaign on a strong performance in early-voting New Hampshire, where he headed immediately after his announcement speech, holding well-received town hall events.
He racked up a long list of notable endorsements from state legislative leaders and, at the end of 2015, looked like he was breaking into the top tier after a video of him discussing a friend’s struggle with drug addiction went viral.
But when votes were tallied in the Granite State late Tuesday, it was increasingly apparent that Christie lacked the numbers needed to support a prolonged campaign.
Trump, who won the New Hampshire primary, said he talked with Christie a “little bit” about the governor dropping out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
Trump said Wednesday on “CBS This Morning” that he and Christie spoke after the primary Tuesday. Seeking endorsements from any rivals that quit the race, Trump said of Christie, “He’s a friend of mine. I’m surprised he didn’t do better.”
He added: “I’d like to see a lot of people drop out.”
Christie also had a poor showing in the Iowa caucus, only receiving 1.8 percent of the vote.
Carly Fiorina also announced Wednesday she would suspend her campaign. Other former Republican heavyweights to leave the race include South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who bowed out before any votes were cast.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)