Rand Paul Drops Out

Nati Harnik/AP

Rand Paul dropped his bid for the White House Wednesday morning after a fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

“It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House,” Paul said in a statement. “Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty.”

The first-term Kentucky senator’s Iowa finish, with 4 percent of the vote, was a poor showing compared with the third-place finish of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, there four years ago. Ted Cruz worked hard to win over the more libertarian-leaning voters who had caucused for Ron Paul four years ago. At many Cruz rallies, his campaign showed a video of former Ron Paul supporters pledging their support to Cruz. “He’s really picked up the mantle of Ron Paul in many ways,” Joel Kurtinitis, Ron Paul’s 2012 regional director, says in the video. In the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul spoke at his son’s final rally on Sunday night in Iowa City, but his presence didn’t give his son the lift he needed Monday night.

Out of the presidential primary, Paul won’t have a long reprieve from campaigning. He is up for reelection to the US Senate in November and already has an opponent in Jim Gray, the Democratic mayor of Lexington.