The New Hampshire primary claimed its first two casualties on Wednesday, as former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina suspended her campaign and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was expected to drop his bid.
Each had also faced the prospect of not making it to the stage of the next GOP debate, to be broadcast on CBS on Saturday, as they languished in the polls.
“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,” Fiorina said on Facebook.
The Associated Press reported that Christie, once considered a GOP frontrunner, would suspend his campaign. He had a poor sixth place showing in New Hampshire, behind Marco Rubio, the candidate he attacked at the most recent Republican debate.
The news that Christie was dropping his White House bid elicited reaction from media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who tweeted, “Chris Christie, suicide bomber. Damages victim while blowing himself up!”
Christie’s campaign failed to catch fire after his New Jersey administration got caught up in the so-called Bridgegate scandal, over the closure of the George Washington Bridge. But Christie was responsible for one of the campaign’s most successful viral videos, in which he talked about the need to treat addiction as a disease.
Fiorina was on the rise in the presidential field after she performed well in the first GOP “undercard” debate in August, enough to earn her a spot on the main debate stage. But her campaign languished in the face of attacks over her experience as CEO of HP.
She still drew heavy support from media mogul Jerry Perenchio, who helped bankroll a SuperPAC supporting her candidacy.