Sunday, January 20, 2008

Duncan Hunter drops out!

Finally! Now the Republican field is purely made up of *only* the "top-tier" candidates (including Ron Paul) and Alan Keyes. No word from Michael Savage, but what is this talk about drafting Lou Dobbs?

Anyway, USA Today reports...
Rep. Duncan Hunter ended his long-shot bid Saturday night for the Republican presidential nomination, citing his poor showing in the Nevada caucuses earlier in the day as the reason for dropping out of the race less than two weeks after insisting that he was staying in.

Standing at the same navy pier where he announced his candidacy in October 2006, Rep. Duncan Hunter conceded that his dark-horse campaign had failed to capture voters' attention in a crowded candidate field.

"I will take full responsibility for the failure of this campaign to gain traction," Hunter said in a speech to campaign volunteers, friends and a handful of curious onlookers who stopped as they walked along the twinkling harbor front.

"But I don't regret a minute of it — I'll tell you what, it was a lot of fun."

Hunter, a San Diego-area Congressman, said he'd planned to keep his campaign going "until I didn't think there was daylight." In Nevada, a state he thought would be receptive to his rhetoric on securing the border and beefing up national security, he polled just 2%.

Still, Hunter said he felt he scored a political victory in forcing other campaigns to take on issues he championed — border security, the burgeoning economic threat of China and the need to rebuild America's military.

"The other candidates today are talking about things I brought up," he said, alongside his wife, Lynne, and their two sons. "So I think that in itself is a great victory for this campaign."

Hunter, a San Diego-area congressman, spent most of Saturday in Nevada, campaigning in Reno and farther south in the state before returning to California.

In recent weeks he was forced at every stop to dispel rumors that the campaign was already dead and was unable to talk about the issues, campaign spokesman Bob Bevill said. The best showing of Hunter's campaign was in Wyoming's Jan. 5 caucuses, in which he won 8% of the vote — and one delegate — after finishing third behind Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.

On his way out, Hunter took a gentle jab at Rudy Giuliani, noting that he still boasted one delegate more than the former New York City mayor.

Hunter declined to say whether he planned to endorse another candidate.

He said he planned to return to Washington, where he is the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, to begin working on the upcoming defense authorization bill.

Hunter, 59, was elected to Congress in 1980 as part of President Reagan's sweep into power. The Vietnam War veteran, a recipient of a Bronze Star, has made his mark on Capitol Hill by advocating for a strong military and border security, and played a leading role in the construction of a 14-mile double fence on the U.S.-Mexico border that is nearing completion in San Diego.

He has cruised to re-election in his conservative San Diego County district since he, as a 32-year-old criminal defense attorney, rode Ronald Reagan's coattails to unseat a nine-term Democratic incumbent. His son, Marine Capt. Duncan D. Hunter, is running to take over his seat when he retires from Congress at the end of the year.

LINK: Rep. Hunter drops out of GOP presidential race

Now who will Ann Coulter support?

-Mr. Joseph

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