Trump rival drops out of presidential race

“I just want to thank Ron and congratulate him on doing a very good job,” said Trump. “He was very gracious, and he endorsed me. I appreciate that.”


Florida governor Ron DeSantis ended his presidential campaign and endorsed Donald Trump on Sunday. 

The former US president set aside months of criticism and mockery of Desantis, celebrating his onetime Republican rival as his newest supporter. 

DeSantis, previously seen as a threat to Trump, quit ahead of a Republican primary election in New Hampshire. 

He was polling in single digits. 

Speaking on Sunday night, Trump praised DeSantis without calling him “DeSantimonious” or “DeSanctus,” putting an end to perhaps the most bitter rivalry of the Republicans’ 2024 campaign.

“I just want to thank Ron and congratulate him on doing a very good job,” the former US president said. “He was very gracious, and he endorsed me. I appreciate that, and I also look forward to working with Ron.” 

Trump described DeSantis as “a really terrific person.”

His speech quickly moved onto his typical freewheeling attacks on President Joe Biden, the political media, “the deep state” and “warmongers” in Washington. 

He blasted the criminal justice that has indicted him four times, with 91 felony charges pending in multiple trials. 

However, DeSantis gave a lukewarm endorsement of Trump. 

“It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance,” DeSantis said, offering matter-of-fact analysis through a forced smile. 

Trump is still opposed in the race

Nikki Haley, a former UN ambassador, is Trump’s last remaining challenger. 

She will face him in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, the second is a series of state votes where a Republican nominee for the November general election is picked. 

Trump in his speech criticised Haley, casting her as a tool of the political establishment he has flouted. 

He made sweeping promises of peace and prosperity, pledging without offering any detailed plans that he would reverse inflation and end Russia’s war in Ukraine. And he repeated his lies that his defeat to Biden in 2020 was due to fraud.

A boisterous crowd at the historic opera house in Rochester laughed, chanted and roared throughout.

“The great silent majority is rising like never before,” Trump said.

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