The Field Narrows: Will Hurd Drops GOP Presidential Bid, Endorses Nikki Haley

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Another Republican presidential hopeful has exited the 2024 race. On Monday, former Texas Congressman Will Hurd announced that he was dropping out of the race and endorsing former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. 

Hurd shared his statement on X (formerly Twitter). The statement reads in full: 

When I first entered the Republican presidential primary field in June, I knew I was a dark horse candidate with a path to victory that would contain many obstacles. But as I traveled across the country, I met so many Americans who believed in my campaign’s message of unity and common sense.
In 14 short weeks, my team and I matched the accomplishments of many of the other candidates in the race who had significantly higher name ID and cash advantage. I am honored to have had the support of the people who made this possible.
Unfortunately, it has become clear to me and my team that the time has come to suspend our campaign. While I appreciate all the time and energy our supporters have given, it is important to recognize the realities of the political landscape and the need to consolidate our party around one person to defeat both Donald Trump and President Biden. I urge donors, voters, and other candidates to unite around an alternative candidate to Trump. Otherwise, we will repeat the same errors as in 2016. If the Republican party nominates Donald Trump or the various personalities jockeying to imitate his divisive, crass behavior, we will lose. 
I entered this race for a few simple reasons. First, to do what I can to ensure this experiment called America lasts for another 247 years. Second, Americans deserve better than the rematch from hell between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Third, not enough people are talking about real, achievable solutions to the generation-defining challenges that are in front of us, including artificial intelligence, our new Cold War with China, and the complexity of the ongoing crisis at our southern border.
Our nation deserves a leader who can unite us and navigate the complex challenges we face, particularly when it comes to our national security. I believe Ambassador Nikki Haley is the best person in this race to do that. Ambassador Haley has shown a willingness to articulate a different vision for the country than Donald Trump and has an unmatched grasp on the complexities of our foreign policy. I wholeheartedly endorse Ambassador Haley and look forward to supporting her for the remainder of this race.

As noted in the statement, Hurd’s candidacy was short-lived. He announced his bid in June but rankled GOP voters in Iowa soon after when he slammed former President Donald Trump at the Iowa Lincoln Dinner, declaring: 

Donald Trump isn’t running to make America Great again. Donald Trump is not running to represent the people who voted for him in 2016 and 2020. Donald Trump is running to stay out of prison. 

Hurd was met with a chorus of boos for that quip and later received the “Trump treatment,” as reported by Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar, with Trump noting on Truth Social: 

Trump wrote:
In Iowa last night I noticed that a little known, failed former Congressman, Will Hurd, is ridiculously running for President. He quit Congress because it would have been impossible for him to win in his district – he did a really bad job. Anyway, he got SERIOUSLY booed off the stage when he said I was running “to stay out of jail.” Wrong, if I wasn’t running, or running and doing badly (like him & Christie!), with no chance to win, these prosecutions would never have been brought or happened!

At 45, Hurd represents a new generation of Republican contenders, but the former CIA operative never caught traction with the GOP base. 

He failed to qualify for the first and second Republican primary debates and has been polling at 0.2%, according to FiveThirtyEight’s national polling averages.

Hurd joins Miami Mayor Francis Suarez in exiting the race. 

As indicated in his announcement, Hurd remains sharply critical of both President Biden and former President Trump, referring to a likely head-to-head between the two in 2024 as “the rematch from hell.” 

Instead, Hurd reserved his praise for Haley, who subsequently thanked him for his endorsement. 

In backing Haley, a former ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, Hurd praised her as a leader who can navigate national security challenges. “Ambassador Haley has shown a willingness to articulate a different vision for the country than Donald Trump and has an unmatched grasp on the complexities of our foreign policy,” he said.
Haley thanked Hurd for his endorsement in a statement on X on Monday, writing: “America is at a crossroads and it’s time to come together and make Joe Biden a one-term president. Thank you @WillHurd for your support and confidence. We have a country to save!”

Hurd’s exit narrows the field to 10 candidates: 

  • Former President Donald Trump
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
  • Former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence
  • South Carolina Senator Tim Scott
  • Tech entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy
  • Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
  • North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum
  • Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
  • Conservative radio host Larry Elder
  • Michigan businessman Perry Johnson 

With the third GOP debate slated for Miami in early November, we can expect to see the field narrow further in the coming weeks. 

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