Jeb Bush called it quits Saturday night within two hours of finishing a very distant fourth in the South Carolina primary, far behind the winner, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, and barely surpassing Ohio Governor John Kasich.
With his head hanging low, the man once considered the most likely to be the GOP nominee addressed his supporters at a post-primary event.
"The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision, so tonight I am suspending my campaign," said Bush, and BuzzFeed reported the crow gasped as one.
“Yeah, yeah,” he said as he conceded the defeat of his White House ambition.
“I have put forth a vision for American that includes all, because our country deserves a president for everyone,” he said. With no mention of who he would support now, Bush called on his party to choose a nominee who showed strength, right wing political and family values as well as humility: “With strong conservative leadership, Republicans can win back the White House,” he said.
Was that meant to rule out Trump? Earlier Saturday, a reporter asked Bush if he would consider being Trump’s running mate. “No,” was his swift response, according to MSNBC. “And let’s be clear,” said the former Florida governor, “I don’t think he would ask me, either.”
Watch that exchange below, after a clip from CNN of Bush announcing his withdrawal from the 2016 campaign.