Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced the suspension of his campaign for the presidency following poor results in the Iowa caucus.
Paul, whose father Ron Paul ran for president four years ago, launched his campaign as a Libertarian-influenced brand of conservatism — but was never able to gain traction or raise any serious campaign cash.
“Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I,” Paul said in a statement. He will reportedly run for reelection in the Senate.
“It's been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House. Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of liberty.”
Paul reportedly met with advisers to discuss whether or not to drop out following the caucus, which found him with under 5 percent of the vote.
“The going end goal was if we got a top five we would go on. Then Rand reflected on it and he called to get my advice and my advice was that he not go on,” Paul’s senior adviser, Steve Munisteri, told Politico.
A senior aide with the Paul campaign said the senator was thwarted by the rise of Donald Trump as the frontrunner among the GOP field.
“Trump got in, Trump zoomed ahead, we collapsed, and he had a massive impact in caging our people from us,” the aide said.
“And that, combined with this foreign policy environment, when Rand was more flavor of the month a year ago, it was before they were beheading people in the Middle East and that just really altered the conversation, the dynamic on those issues."
Paul’s exit from the race was a quick one, with the decision reportedly being made shortly after his poor finish in Iowa.
“Some of the staff found out yesterday, the rest found out this morning,” a source close to the campaign told ABC News.
“Obviously people here at the office are disappointed, but we think his message will continue to resonate with the freedom movement in the Republican Party."