Facebook followers of conservative businesswoman Carly Fiorina read it first: The former Hewlett-Packard CEO has left the race for the Republican nomination for president. In her Facebook post, Fiorina wrote:
"While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them."
Despite finishing seventh in the New Hampshire primary and taking home no delegates, and scoring so low in the polls that ABC News did not invite her to the last GOP debate last week, the Virginia native vowed that ending her campaign was not the end of her political ambitions.
"This campaign was always about citizenship -- taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected," she wrote. "Election after election, the same empty promises are made and the same poll-tested stump speeches are given, but nothing changes. I've said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I'm not going to start now."
Fiorina was not quiet about LGBT issues, although critics said her stance was inconsistent. Last October, Fiorina told conservative radio host Jan Mickelson that the Supreme Court's decision establishing marriage equality nationwide is actually not the "law of the land." Right Wing Watchcalled her out for that stance, saying it totally contradicts what she said when the ruling came down in June.
"I think the Supreme Court ruling will become the law of the land, and however much I may agree or disagree with it, I wouldn't support an amendment to reverse it," Fiorina had said on-camera in an interview posted with a conservative blog last summer. She added, "I very much hope that we would come to a place now in this nation where we can support their decision and at the same time support people's right to have, to have, to hold religious views and to protect their right to exercise those views."
But later Fiorina claimed she never said that.
"I think that is a quote from someone else, not from me," she said when confronted about her comments by Mickelson.
CNN described Fiorina as "a woman with a lengthy private-sector resume [who] was the Republican best suited to take on Hillary Clinton in a general election."
"Fiorina's willingness to attack Clinton -- she once invited media to a press conference outside the same hotel in South Carolina where Clinton was holding an event just minutes later -- could keep her in the running for the vice presidential nomination."
Fiorina directly addressed her female supporters in her Facebook message:
"To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you. Do not listen to anyone who says you have to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate because you're a woman. That is not feminism. Feminism doesn't shut down conversations or threaten women. It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent. A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership."
Read Fiorina's entire post below: