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Rand Paul Drops Out Of Presidential Race

"Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty."

Last updated on February 3, 2016, at 9:43 a.m. ET

Posted on February 3, 2016, at 9:25 a.m. ET

Jae C. Hong / AP

Senator Rand Paul dropped out of the Republican presidential race on Wednesday, two days after his disappointing fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

In the statement, Paul, 52, said it was an 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," he said.

Paul was unable to ignite the excitement or support among libertarians that his father, Ron Paul, had enjoyed during the 2012 Republican primary. The Kentucky senator distinguished himself from most of his opponents in the race for his stances on military spending and government surveillance, but never broke away from the crowded field of candidates. In January, due to his low polling, Paul was relegated to the undercard debate in South Carolina, an event he declined to participate in.

Paul added in the statement that he will now focus on his Senate re-election campaign.

Here's the full statement:

Today, Dr. Rand Paul issued the following statement on his presidential campaign:

"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.

Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I.

Although, today I will suspend my campaign for President, the fight is far from over. I will continue to carry the torch for Liberty in the United States Senate and I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term."

Paul tweeted a thank you video for his supporters after the announcement.

Thanks again to the people of Iowa. It was great getting to meet you & I am especially grateful for the enthusiasm of students! Fight on!