WASHINGTON — Joe Walsh, the conservative radio show host and former Tea Party congressman from Illinois who was running a presidential campaign challenging President Trump’s fitness for office, announced on Friday that he was ending his bid for the Republican nomination.
That leaves Mr. Trump with only one Republican challenger, former Gov. William F. Weld of Massachusetts.
“I am ending my candidacy for president of the United States,” Mr. Walsh said in an interview on CNN Friday morning. “I got into this because I thought it was really important that there was a Republican — a Republican — out there every day calling out this president for how unfit he is.”
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But after spending the majority of his time campaigning in Iowa, Mr. Walsh received just 1.1 percent of the vote in the caucuses there on Monday, failing to make any dent in Mr. Trump’s support among Republican voters. (He finished behind Mr. Weld, who got 1.3 percent.)
The experience, he said, left him cynical about the future of the party.
“I spoke in front of 3,000 Iowa Republicans last night,” Mr. Walsh wrote on Twitter last week. “It was like a MAGA rally. I told them we needed a president who doesn’t lie all the time. The crowd booed me. I told them we needed a president who wasn’t indecent & cruel. The crowd booed me.”
He said the experience made him realize “again that my Republican Party isn’t a Party, it’s a cult.”