Scott, who has been caught within the low-single digits in polling, had introduced that his campaign was going all-in on Iowa in a last-ditch effort to spice up his possibilities within the Republican presidential contest. It’s unclear simply what number of of his employees members have been drafted to maneuver to Iowa after his campaign supervisor introduced final month that employees can be relocating to the first-caucus state.
On a name with campaign employees instantly after his tv interview, Scott acknowledged that the announcement “may have caught you by surprise,” and that he “tried to be as strategic as possible dealing with this.”
Less than half an hour earlier than he made the announcement, Scott’s campaign despatched out a fundraising e-mail with the topic line “One last chance.”
Scott certified a lot later than his opponents for the Republican National Committee’s third debate — struggling to succeed in the required 70,000 donor threshold. But his allies thought-about it to be his finest efficiency on stage but.
Nevertheless, he remained vulnerable to failing to qualify for the subsequent debate, which had even increased donor and polling standards. The polling threshold for that debate, on Dec. 6 in Alabama, is 6 p.c, a mark Scott has not been hitting. And the campaign had dwindling assets to try to enhance his numbers, having spent considerably greater than it had introduced in. The campaign had $12.4 million in expenditures in the course of the third fundraising quarter, whereas elevating $4.6 million.
Scott’s Sunday night time announcement got here after he canceled a scheduled swing by way of Iowa this weekend, a change the campaign on Friday attributed to him having the flu. Scott began the interview by saying he was “looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail” after he recovers from the flu earlier than including that he would now not be a candidate.
“Pretty shocking,” remarked one Scott ally after his announcement.
“Had no idea,” mentioned a campaign employees member, moments after Scott mentioned on tv he was ending his presidential bid.
Scott’s withdrawal will come as a blow to institution Republicans who believed his prolific fundraising and softer rhetoric may place him as a viable various to former President Donald Trump. His departure from the race got here not lengthy after one other extra traditionalist Republican, former Vice President Mike Pence, additionally dropped out.
Scott, in contrast to Pence, entered the race with excessive expectations. But he by no means caught a spark. Last month, whereas describing Scott as a “spokesman” for the “Reagan, hopeful, optimistic message,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) mentioned of his struggles, “I’m disappointed, because he’s such a terrific guy and has got a great message.”
Scott’s advisers bristled for the reason that begin of his campaign at any suggestion that he could be working for vice chairman, with one adviser telling POLITICO earlier this yr that the suggestion was “insulting.”
Asked in regards to the chance now, Scott mentioned on Fox, “I’ll be honest with you, I ran for president to be president. I believe I could have taken this country to new heights with great unity on conservative principles.”
He mentioned, “That’s what the Lord put in my heart. I think I was called to run. I was not called to win. But I certainly was called to run. And I’ll say this, that being vice president has never been on my to-do list for this campaign, and it’s certainly not there now.”
When requested about endorsing within the major, Scott mentioned he was “going to recommend that the voters study each candidate” and that “the best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.”
Scott on Wednesday had simply unveiled his girlfriend, after months of teasing her existence. Scott introduced the girl, Mindy Noce, onstage for pictures after the controversy in Miami. He had confronted questions all through his candidacy about being a 58-year-old bachelor, although Scott assured an viewers in Iowa in September that he was courting a “lovely Christian girl.”
Lisa Kashinsky contributed to this report.