Rand Paul Drops His Bid for the Presidency

Rand Paul Drops His Bid for the Presidency
Source: AP
Source: AP

He says he ignited "brushfires of liberty" — but his campaign for the Oval Office just burned out.

Kentucky libertarian Rand Paul announced Wednesday that he's suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and will refocus his efforts on hanging on to his Senate seat.

"Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy," Paul said in a statement announcing his decision. "Brushfires of liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I."

The senator brought his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, out on the Iowa trail in hopes of rekindling some of the sensation the elder statesman created during his own quest for the Oval Office.

The younger Paul certainly drew some passionate followers, with notable popularity among students and younger voters who were roused by his opposition to government surveillance at home and what he termed too much U.S. military intervention overseas, particularly in the Middle East.

In the end, though, there apparently just weren't enough people who wanted to "Stand With Rand" for the senator and eye doctor to see a viable road to the White House.

Paul's bailout comes two days after a weak showing in the Iowa caucuses, in which he earned less than 5% support, and just ahead of the New Hampshire primary, where his arch-nemesis, Donald Trump, enjoys a cushy lead in the polls.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Celeste Katz

Celeste Katz is senior political correspondent at Mic, covering national politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at celeste@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Sam Brownback: 3 things to know about Trump’s nominee for ambassador-at-large for religious freedom

Brownback was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which created the job he's now nominated for.

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

Sam Brownback: 3 things to know about Trump’s nominee for ambassador-at-large for religious freedom

Brownback was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which created the job he's now nominated for.

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.