Carly Fiorina Suspends Presidential Campaign | NECN
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Carly Fiorina Suspends Presidential Campaign

She garnered only 4 percent of the Republican vote in the New Hampshire primary

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    Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina greets supporters and voters during a town hall style meeting at The Main Street Cafe and Bakery on January 28, 2016 in Ankeny, Iowa. Politicians are stepping up their campaigning in Iowa ahead of the state's February 1 caucuses.

    Republican candidate Carly Fiorina has suspended her campaign for president.

    The former Hewlett-Packard executive's decision comes a day after a disappointing showing in the New Hampshire primary, where she garnered just 4 percent of the vote. Fiorina, 61, was excluded from Saturday's Fox News debate in the Granite State.

    "This campaign was always about citizenship — taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected," Fiorina said in an email to supporters Wednesday. "Election after election, the same empty promises are made and the same poll-tested stump speeches are given, but nothing changes.

    "I've said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I'm not going to start now," Fiorina continued. "While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them."

    Fiorina entered the tumultuous Republican primary in April. She promoted herself as an outsider with business experience and argued that as the lone woman in the GOP field she was best positioned to oppose likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

    "To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you," Fiorina said in Wednesday's statement. "Do not listen to anyone who says you have to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate because you're a woman. That is not feminism. Feminism doesn't shut down conversations or threaten women. It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent. A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership."

    After a standout performance in the first undercard debate, Fiorina rose to the mainstage and soared in the polls in the fall. But her momentum quickly stalled and by the end of the year she had dropped back down.

    Fiorina's first major foray in to politics was in 2010, when she ran for Senate in California and lost to incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer by 10 points.

    Throughout her presidential bid, Fiorina emphasized her meteoric rise in the business world. A Stanford University graduate, she started her career as a secretary, earned an MBA and worked her way up at AT&T to become a senior executive at the telecom giant.

    But she was also dogged by questions about her record at Hewlett-Packard, where she was hired as CEO in 1999. She was fired six years later, after leading a major merger with Compaq and laying off 30,000 workers.

    The Associated Press reports that GOP candidate Chris Christie will also leave the race, although NBC News has not independently confirmed the New Jersey governor will suspend his campaign.

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