Miami Mayor Francis Suarez suspends the 2024 Republican primary campaign
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced Tuesday that he is suspending his campaign for president after failing to qualify for the first Republican primary debate last week in Milwaukee.
“Running for President of the United States has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Suarez said. “This country has given so much to me and my family. The prospect of giving back at the highest levels of public service is a motivator if not an invitation. Throughout the process, I have met many freedom-loving Americans who care deeply about our nation, its people, and its future. It has been an honor to be so close to Appearing on stage with the other candidates in last week’s first debate.
“Although I have decided to suspend my campaign for the presidency, my commitment to making this nation better for every American remains,” Suarez added.
The decision represented days of back-and-forth between his team and the Republican National Committee over whether to take the stage.
Ultimately, the RNC said it didn’t meet all of the polls’ and donors’ criteria — despite its claims to the contrary.
He posted a video on social media saying he had qualified and urging his supporters to listen to him.
“I am so excited to be able to bring my message of prosperity to the entire nation, to introduce myself to the nation,” he said. “This is the beginning of an amazing moment for our country and our city. I want all of you to witness it and be a part of it.”
The mayor’s campaign also shared with the Associated Press portions of an email he said he received from RNC staff that indicated the committee had booked more than 100 tickets in Milwaukee for his campaign.
But the outlet later reported that the mayor’s team had deleted part of the email exchange that included the disclaimer that tickets would be canceled if Suarez failed to meet the criteria for the debate.
Suarez, 45, who announced his candidacy in June with an ad showing him jogging in Miami, has presented himself as an effective leader with the youthful presence needed in the White House.
But his campaign has become more known for gaffes and tricks, as when, in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, he appeared to know nothing about the Uyghurs, a suppressed ethnic minority in western China.
“What is a Uyghur?” Hewitt asked.
In an effort to meet the criteria for the discussion, which included 40,000 individual donors, Suarez offered extraordinary rewards to people who gave $1 to his campaign, including entry into a raffle for tickets to Lionel Messi’s first Major League Soccer game.
In the week leading up to the debate, Suarez suggested that candidates unable to qualify for the first debate should consider dropping out of the race, telling ABC News’ Rachel Scott: “To be honest, I think it gets a little more difficult from here, right? “
“It’s hard to set higher thresholds when you don’t set lower thresholds.”
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com