(CNN)– Carly Fiorina is ending her bid for the Republican presidential nomination. The former Hewlett-Packard executive announced the decision on Facebook Wednesday after finishing seventh in New Hampshire’s primary. “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 in a post.
The writing was on the wall after she didn’t qualify for last week’s ABC News debate, and a last-minute campaign on her behalf to allow her in was unsuccessful. Fiorina’s best moments of the campaign came in the first two presidential debates. She shined in the “undercard” for the first debate, hosted by Fox News, earning enough of a bump in the polls to make the cut for the main stage in the second debate, hosted by CNN.
And then she handed in a strong enough performance in that debate to rise into the top-polling tier of GOP candidates. Those poll bounces didn’t stick, though — fading slowly as Donald Trump dominated media attention, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz courted evangelicals and hard-line conservatives and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio worked to consolidate establishment Republicans. Fiorina also found herself facing a barrage of criticism from Planned Parenthood and its allies after her characterization during one debate of the undercover videos assailing the organization’s handling of fetal tissue proved inaccurate.
Her campaign was built on the argument that — as a woman with a lengthy private-sector resume — she was the Republican best suited to take on Hillary Clinton in a general election. Fiorina’s willingness to attack Clinton — she once invited media to a press conference outside the same hotel in South Carolina where Clinton was holding an event just minutes later — could keep her in the running for the vice presidential nomination.
Fiorina’s disappointing performance in Iowa — she received 2% support there — was punctuated by her decision to skip her caucus-night party there, citing a snowstorm ahead, and head straight for the airport for her flight to New Hampshire. The 2016 race was Fiorina’s second bid for political office. She previously for California’s Senate seat in 2010, but lost by 10 percentage points to incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.