Jeb Bush announces the suspension of his presidential campaign. Photo: Getty
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a emotional speech announced that he is suspending his presidential campaign run after a disappointing finish in the South Carolina primary.
"The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision," Bush said in South Carolina tonight. "So I am suspending my campaign."
Bush launched his presidential bid last June in a quest to become the third member of the Bush family in the White House. But throughout his campaign he faced questions about how he was different from his father and brother.
His brother former President George W. Bush made his first public campaign appearance in South Carolina on Monday. Tonight he thanked his brother, his father ("the greatest man alive"), his mother who campaigned for him and his wife ("the love of my life").
He went on to say: ”I have stood my ground, refusing to bend to the political winds," Bush said. "We put forward detailed, innovative, conservative plans to address the mounting challenges that we face, because despite what you might have heard, ideas matter, policy matters."
And Bush, who duked it out relentlessly with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, reiterated his belief that the presidency is for the humble.
"I firmly believe the American people must entrust this office to someone who understands that whoever holds it is a servant, not the master," he said. "Someone who will commit to that service with honor and decency."
He thanked his volunteers, supporters and "all the fellow grinders in our campaign, our staff who never, ever, ever gave up."
And he offered a nod to the candidates -- now his former rivals -- who remain in the race.
"I congratulate my competitors that are remaining on the island, on their success for a race that has been hard-fought," Bush said.
"I've had an incredible life," he added, "and for me, public service has been the highlight of that life."