- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced Wednesday she is suspending her campaign for the presidency, after she failed to crack into the top tier of the 2016 GOP field in either Iowa or New Hampshire.

“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,” Mrs. Fiorina said in a statement.

Mrs. Fiorina’s campaign manager, Frank Sadler, notified members of her staff in a conference call Wednesday that she was suspending her campaign effective immediately.

“The team is obviously exceptionally proud of her for not even being known by 96 percent of the electorate entering the race,” said Charlie Gerow, a top adviser to Mrs. Fiorina. “She is now clearly well-known, well-liked and well-respected today and will be a strong and powerful voice for Republican principles for a long time to come.”

Mrs. Fiorina, who finished in seventh in both Iowa and New Hampshire, had pitched herself as an outsider, repeatedly hammering the “political class” on the campaign trail.

In her statement, Mrs. Fiorina also urged young girls and women across the country to not let others define them.

“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,” she said.

Mrs. Fiorina emerged as a leading critic of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, saying at one undercard debate last month that Mrs. Clinton is qualified for the “big house,” though the former secretary of state wants to go to the White House.

Mrs. Fiorina managed to parlay a strong performance in the opening GOP undercard debate last August into appearances on the main stage in several debates after that. She struggled to translate her efforts to sustained support in the polls, though, and failed to qualify for the most recent debate in New Hampshire, which did not include an undercard.

Mrs. Fiorina’s full statement:

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. 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. 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.

Our Republican Party must fight alongside these Americans as well. We must end crony capitalism by fighting the policies that allow it to flourish. We must fix our festering problems by holding our bloated, inept government bureaucracy accountable. Republicans must stand for conservative principles that lift people up and recognize all Americans have the right to fulfill their God-given potential.

To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you. 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.

As I have said to the many wonderful Americans I have met throughout this campaign, a leader is a servant whose highest calling is to unlock potential in others. I will continue to serve in order to restore citizen government to this great nation so that together we may fulfill our potential.

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