Jeb Bush today quit the Republican presidential race following a series of dismal performances in the primaries, as the Bush family’s dream of an unprecedented third stint at the White House was shattered after he came a distant fourth in South Carolina.
An introvert but articulate Jeb, with no dearth of money and support base of establishment across the nation, was hoping to follow the footsteps of his father George H W Bush and his elder brother George W Bush.
George H W Bush, now 91, was the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993. His son George W Bush was elected as the two-term 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009.
63-year-old John Ellis “Jeb” Bush was hoping to become the 45th president of the US when he announced his candidature last year.
After three consecutive abysmal performances in Iowa, New Hampshire and finally in South Carolina, the third presidential aspirant from the Bush family announced to suspend his campaign.
“The people of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken. I respect their decision. So, tonight, I am suspending my campaign,” a visibly disappointed Jeb said as he took the podium in Columbia, South Carolina, after it became clear that he has received less than eight per cent of the votes.
“I congratulate my competitors, that are remaining on the island, on their success in a race that has been hard-fought, just as the contest for the presidency should be because it is a tough job,” Jeb said.
Jeb’s disappointing finish in the state—a distant fourth at 7.8 per cent votes behind Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz—became the final straw for his floundering campaign.
The end was all the more personal because the former Florida governor had poured his energy into the state, invoking his family’s political legacy at one campaign stop after another and facing down voters who questioned his campaign strategy.
At his primary night party at a hotel ballroom in Columbia, an emotional Jeb acknowledged that there was nothing more he could do.
In the Iowa caucuses on February 1, which kicked off the 2016 presidential cycle for the November polls, Jeb was placed sixth with an abysmally low 2.8 per cent votes.
But Jeb, who had been polling low at the national level, saw a glimmer of hope in the New Hampshire primary where he came fourth and his votes crossed the double digit mark with 11 per cent. However, that hope faded with today’s defeat.
In his quest, Jeb even roped his elder brother and former president George, who made his first public political campaign rally after leaving White House on January 20, 2009. But the rally, though generated excitement, it did not get him votes.