DES MOINES — Beto O’Rourke, running out of money and flat-lining in public opinion polls, abandoned his presidential campaign on Friday, exiting the contest just as a crush of better-funded, higher-polling candidates arrived here for an Iowa Democratic Party event.
Speaking to a group of tearful supporters on a lawn across from the convention center where O’Rourke had originally been scheduled to appear, O’Rourke pointed to the campaign’s inability to raise sufficient money in recent months.
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“This is a campaign that has prided itself on seeing things clearly, on speaking honestly and on acting decisively,” O’Rourke said. “We have to clearly see at this point that we do not have the means to pursue this campaign successfully.”
The timing of the announcement stunned O’Rourke’s supporters and local staff, many of whom had risen before dawn to place campaign signs throughout the city. An adviser said O’Rourke had finalized his decision by early Thursday, when a small clutch of aides were first informed.