Businessman Andrew Yang announced that he was suspending his dark horse bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday night, after a weak showing in the Iowa caucuses and trailing badly in early results from New Hampshire.
"I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win. And so, tonight I am announcing I am suspending my campaign for president,” Yang told supporters in Manchester.
"This is not an easy decision, or something I made lightly with the team,” Yang continued. “Endings are hard, and I've always had the intention to stay in this race until the very end. But I have been persuaded that the message of this campaign will not be strengthened by me staying in the race any longer. Endings are hard, New Hampshire, but this is not an ending, it's a beginning."
He added that he would support the winner of the Democratic nomination, but stressed that in his view, President Trump was not the cause of the United States’ problems but a symptom. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a moderate who had focused his efforts on New Hampshire, also announced Tuesday night he was suspending his campaign, after failing to crack 1 percent in the early returns.
Yang, 45, exceeded all expectations in his first political race, with his message of “MATH: Make America Think Harder” and his pitch for a universal basic income program, which would pay every adult American $1,000 per month. His campaign began to take off last spring, after he appeared on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast and discussed the danger of job losses due to automation and artificial intelligence.
While Yang’s message was often dark, he had a relaxed, humorous speaking style and engaged easily with audiences at his rallies, and had attracted a dedicated cadre of mostly young supporters, who dubbed themselves “the Yang Gang.”
“I’ve already outlasted a dozen governors, former governors and members of Congress,” said Yang, adding that "the Yang Gang has fundamentally shifted the direction of this country and transformed our politics, and we are only continuing to grow.”
Yang’s withdrawal was a subject of speculation after he finished a distant sixth in Iowa last week and fired dozens of staffers. He had campaigned hard in New Hampshire, closing with a series of town halls in the northern part of the state, hoping to appeal to the Republicans and independents who are allowed to cross over in the state’s primary.
He impressed at Saturday night’s state party dinner in Manchester, where a crowd divided among all the candidates’ supporters cheered him on after a shortened version of his stump speech.
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