Democratic leader Beto O’Rourke, above, from El Paso, Texas, on Friday dropped out of the presidential race saying he does not have the means to continue the campaign successfully, reports say.
O’Rourke’s announcement disappointed his fans who were preparing to welcome him at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Dinner.
President Donald Trump mocked him, saying the candidate claimed he was born to run for the race before announcing his candidacy.
O’Rourke said in a post on Medium that it is in the best interests of the party and the country to back one nominee.
Later, addressing supporters at a park under an overcast sky alongside the Des Moines River in Iowa, O’Rourke said his seven-month campaign that focused on stricter guns control laws and fight against climate change did make an impact on other democratic candidates.
The White House bid was over but fight for various causes would continue, the former congressman said.
It is not clear whether O’Rourke would challenge Republican John Cornyn in the 2020 Senate bid. After he started the presidential campaign in March, some Democrats have joined the race to fight Cornyn.
Trump heard the news of O’Rourke’s pull-out as he was heading to participate in a campaign rally in Mississippi.
Trump said he cannot believe the news since O’Rourke told a magazine in March that he was born to be in the presidential race.
In campaign rallies, he had criticised O ‘Rourke’s call for stricter gun laws and cancellation of tax-exemption status for churches and religious charities.
Attacking the Democrat’s proposal for a mandatory buyback of assault weapons, Trump told people that O’Rourke was planning to take away the guns that protect them.