Rand Paul announced he is ending his campaign for president today and will instead focus on getting reelected in Kentucky to the U.S. Senate.
Officially, Paul said he was “suspending” his campaign. “Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of liberty,” the ophthalmologist said in a statement.
“Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I,” Paul said in the statement, which was retweeted by reporters.
Rand Paul Issues a Statement on His Presidential Campaign pic.twitter.com/Vcr20H1Fbs
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 3, 2016
Paul angered the LGBT community with his statement at a campaign stop in Iowa that was widely interpreted to mean LGBT workers would be better off staying closeted than coming out in the workplace.
“The things you do in your house, if you leave them in your house, they wouldn’t have to be part of the workplace,” Paul said last October. He also said, “If you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you.” Paul slammed antidiscrimination laws for providing the opportunity for more lawsuits.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton responded to Paul with a tweet featuring her one word answer to a debate question:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 14, 2015
According to Politico, Paul’s brand of “libertarian-infused” conservative failed to catch on, although he was believed to be a stronger candidate than his libertarian father, former Rep. Ron Paul, had been in 2008 and 2012.
But the younger Paul struggled right out of the gate, overshadowed by larger than life competitors Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Politico reported that although he led some polls in 2014 his numbers in 2015 never even amounted to double digits.
The New Civil Rights Movement, in mockingly lamenting his departure from the race, did offer one silver lining: Rand Paul teddy bears are still available for sale, for $50.