Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina have suspended their campaigns for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. (Photo: Robert F. Bukaty, Matt Rourke/AP)
One day after dismal finishes in the New Hampshire primary, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have suspended their campaigns for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Fiorina announced her decision via Facebook. Christie told staffers of his move during a late-afternoon meeting, a spokeswoman said.
It was a disappointing end for the New Jersey governor, who was once expected to be among the favorites to win the GOP nomination.
Christie spent more time campaigning in New Hampshire than any other candidate, participating in more than 70 town hall events in the Granite State. But he was unable to translate those gatherings into votes — receiving just 7.4 percent support among New Hampshire GOP voters.
The Christie campaign may ultimately be remembered for playing the foil to Marco Rubio’s would-be rise during the final Republican debate before the primary, attacking the Florida senator for sticking to talking points during a heated exchange just three days before New Hampshire cast its votes.
“You want someone who is prepared, experienced, mature and tested to get on the stage against Hillary Clinton,” Christie said on CNN hours before Tuesday’s primary results were announced. Rubio’s “just not ready,” Christie added. “He doesn’t have the depth or the substance. And he doesn’t have it because he hasn’t experienced anything.”
Christie added: “Maybe he should run for governor of Florida and do something like that, and actually get some real experience.”
With Christie gone, just two governors — Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — are still in the running for the GOP nomination.
Fiorina, who finished behind Christie in New Hampshire, vowed to remain active in politics. She too struggled for traction in early voting despite making a splash in early debates.
“While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them,” Fiorina wrote in a statement posted to her Facebook page. “I will continue to serve in order to restore citizen government to this great nation so that together we may fulfill our potential.”