Beto O'Rourke: My service to the country will not be as a candidate

"Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully," he wrote on a post on social media.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks before a Democratic Party fundraising dinner, the Liberty and Justice Celebration, in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 1, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/ERIC THAYER)
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks before a Democratic Party fundraising dinner, the Liberty and Justice Celebration, in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 1, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/ERIC THAYER)
WASHINGTON – Former Texas Congressman and presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke announced on Friday that he is withdrawing from the Democratic primaries. He is the most high-profile candidate to drop out of the race.
“Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” he wrote on a post on social media.

“My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee,” O’Rourke added. “Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee, and it is in the best interests of the country.”
US President Donald Trump mocked O'Rourke's announcement. "Oh no, Beto just dropped out of the race for President despite him saying he was 'born for this.' I don't think so!" the president tweeted.

O’Rourke, a three-time representative of Texas’s 16th congressional district, criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a few occasions. He was also one of 58 House members who decided to boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress in 2015.
In April, he called the prime minister racist as he discussed the importance of the US-Israel relationship.
"The US-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet," O'Rourke said. "And that relationship, if it is to be successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist."
Earlier in March, he said that the prime minister “openly sided with racists” and reminded that in a previous election, Netanyahu “warned that the Arabs were coming to the polls.”
In 2014, during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, the House approved with an overwhelming majority $225 million for Iron Dome. Some 395 supported the bill, with only eight who opposed. O’Rourke was one of them.
In response, he told the El-Paso Times that he was not against the Iron Dome, but that he could not support sending $225 million to Israel without any debate or discussion.
O’Rourke entered the race in May this year after he lost his bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterm elections in a surprisingly close race for the conservative state. However, since entering the Democratic primaries, he failed to attract attention and to build momentum and performed poorly in early state polls, averaging low, single-digit support.