Rand Paul Suspends 2016 Presidential Campaign

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(ABC)– Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul announced on Wednesday that he is suspending his 2016 campaign for president.

“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.

Paul finished fifth in Monday’s Iowa caucuses with 4.5 percent of the vote — behind rivals Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson.

Paul campaigned on defending liberty and shrinking the federal government’s influence in the United States and abroad. Paul was seen as a possible mainstream libertarian alternative to his father, the former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Since announcing his candidacy on April 7, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky, Paul was unsuccessful in breaking single digits in national polls.

The man who was dubbed “The Most Interesting Man in Politics” by TIME magazine in 2014 wasn’t able to capture the electorate’s attention, even in states like New Hampshire where his libertarian positions have broader appeal.

Paul was one of the earliest and strongest voices against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump on or off the debate stage, calling the billionaire from Manhattan everything from a “fake conservative” to a “delusional narcissist.” He even compared Trump to “Gollum,” the antagonist in “The Lord of the Rings.” Paul’s campaign focused on gaining grassroots momentum among younger, first time voters and college students.

Back home in Kentucky, Paul will be gearing up for a re-election campaign where he will be facing off against Democratic Mayor of Lexington Jim Gray.

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