The Republican presidential field shrank Wednesday as Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina suspended their presidential campaigns.
Christie spokeswoman Samantha Smith told Associated Press Christie discussed his decision with his campaign staff at their Morristown, New Jersey, headquarters Wednesday and would call donors and other backers.
Christie, the governor of New Jersey, and Fiorina, a former business executive, finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. They were unlikely to qualify for Saturday’s GOP debate in South Carolina.
Christie pinned his White House hopes on a strong showing there, and had been in the spotlight in Saturday’s debate.
Christie, a former prosecutor, grilled Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., over the first-term senator’s lack of experience and habit of repeating the same phrases.
Rubio finished just ahead of Christie. But Christie couldn’t capitalize. Instead, he lagged behind two candidates with similar appeal to establishment, center-right voters, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, as well as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Christie wound up with 7.4 percent of the vote with 96 percent of precincts reporting.
Fiorina issued a statement saying “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 shined briefly last year when her international experience got her attention. She faded quickly and never found a niche. She got 4 percent in Tuesday’s primary.
The only woman in the Republican race, Fiorina said: “To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you. Do not listen to anyone who says you have to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate because you're a woman. That is not feminism. Feminism doesn't shut down conversations or threaten women.
“It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent. A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership.”