Ex-GOP congressman Will Hurd drops out of 2024 race and endorses rival

‘If the Republican party nominates Donald Trump or the various personalities jockeying to imitate his divisive, crass behavior, we will lose,’ Hurd says as he drops out

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 10 October 2023 09:03 EDT

Related video: Will Hurd Says Trump Vying For Presidency Not To Make America Great Again: ‘He’s Running...To Stay Out Of Prison’

Former Republican Rep Will Hurd has suspended his 2024 presidential campaign and endorsed former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

Mr Hurd, a former undercover CIA operative who spent time in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, entered the race as a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump but never managed to get a foothold, failing to qualify for the two debates held so far.

In his announcement that his campaign was ending on Monday, he argued that the Republicans needed to come together and back one candidate to beat President Joe Biden, but also to take out Mr Trump.

Ms Haley now has two strong debate appearances behind her and she has seen a bump in the polls, but all the candidates, including Ms Haley, remain far behind Mr Trump.

In a lengthy statement on X, Mr Hurd said he was aware that he had been a “dark horse” candidate when he joined the race in June.

“In 14 short weeks, my team and I matched the accomplishments of many of the other candidates in the race who had significantly higher name ID and cash advantage,” he wrote.

“Unfortunately, it has become clear to me and my team that the time has come to suspend our campaign,” he added, writing that it’s “important to recognize the realities of the political landscape and the need to consolidate our party around one person to defeat both Donald Trump and President Biden”.

“I urge donors, voters, and other candidates to unite around an alternative candidate to Trump. Otherwise, we will repeat the same errors as in 2016,” he argued. “If the Republican party nominates Donald Trump or the various personalities jockeying to imitate his divisive, crass behavior, we will lose.”

Will Hurd dropped out of the GOP presidential race on 9 October

Mr Hurd said one of the reasons he joined the race was because “not enough people are talking about real, achievable solutions to the generation-defining challenges that are in front of us, including artificial intelligence, our new Cold War with China, and the complexity of the ongoing crisis at our southern border”.

Throwing his support behind Ms Haley, he wrote that the US “deserves a leader who can unite us and navigate the complex challenges we face, particularly when it comes to our national security”.

“I believe Ambassador Nikki Haley is the best person in this race to do that,” he wrote. “Ambassador Haley has shown a willingness to articulate a different vision for the country than Donald Trump and has an unmatched grasp on the complexities of our foreign policy. I wholeheartedly endorse Ambassador Haley and look forward to supporting her for the remainder of this race.”

When he launched his campaign in June, Mr Hurd, 46, said that the “soul of our country is under attack”, seemingly echoing the language used by then-candidate Biden as he campaigned to beat Mr Trump in 2020. Mr Biden often said that the election was a battle for the “soul” of the US.

Mr Hurd becomes the second GOP candidate to leave the race, following the exit of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who dropped out in August. Mr Hurd had been polling at around 0.2 per cent, according to the polling average put together by FiveThirtyEight.

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