Suarez attempted to promote himself as the Republican candidate best suited to connect with young voters and Latinos, but he gained little traction and saw his campaign fizzle out with less than one percent support in national polls. He exits a crowded presidential field led by former president Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy.
"I look forward to keeping in touch with the other Republican presidential candidates and doing what I can to make sure our party puts forward a strong nominee who can inspire and unify the country, renew Americans’ trust in our institutions and in each other, and win," Suarez wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Over the course of his two-month campaign, Suarez repeatedly garnered national media attention for less-than-desirable reasons. He made headlines by mistakenly referring to the persecuted Uyghur minority group in China as "The Weebles," and by shelling out $20 giftcards to solicit donations, with an eye toward meeting the donor qualifications for the debate.
SOS America, a super PAC backing the mayor's presidential run, deployed some unconventional tools to muster support, including an "artificial intelligence" Suarez-mimicking chatbot that was supposed to answer questions on demand from voters but appeared to instead recite a limited number of pre-recorded messages.
Suarez's decision to halt the campaign comes less than two weeks after he falsely professed he had met the polling qualifications to appear on the debate stage in Milwaukee on August 23. He was lambasted by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz for keeping his false debate-qualification announcement pinned on his social media account after the Republican National Committee made it clear he would not appear on the stage.
Suarez maintained his confusion arose from a mix-up over which polls would qualify him for the debate.
"I will continue to amplify the voices of the Hispanic community, the fastest-growing voting group in our country. The Left has taken Hispanics for granted for far too long, and it is no surprise that so many are finding a home in America’s conservative movement," the mayor said in announcing his campaign's suspension.
In the weeks ahead of the debate, Suarez said candidates should drop out of the race and "not linger around" if they fail to qualify for the debate.
Running for President of the United States has been one of the greatest honors of my life. This country has given so much to my family and me. The prospect of giving back at the highest levels of public service is a motivator if not a calling. Throughout this process, I have met…— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) August 29, 2023
He's apparently stayed true to his word in that regard.