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New Mexico Gov. Richardson drops out of '08 race

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Written on 1:03 PM by yahoo

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SANTA FE, New Mexico (CNN) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday after fourth-place showings in the campaign's first contests.

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A party strategist says "The numbers are the reason" for Richardson's departure -- a lack of votes and money.

"It is with great pride, understanding and acceptance that I am ending my campaign for president of the United States," Richardson said during a news conference in the Capitol rotunda in Santa Fe. "You know, it's been an exhilarating and humbling year, an experience I will treasure and I will never forget."

"We made our case for a foreign policy with principles and realism, of rebuilding alliances through diplomacy and unflagging support for democracy. We made our case for rebuilding our country with the laser-like focus on economic growth. ..." he said. "And we made our case for bringing people together, as I've done for my entire life -- Democrats, independents, Republicans, citizens, community groups -- to break the gridlock in Washington and get things done for the American people."

When making his announcement, Richardson declined to endorse any candidate.

Richardson will appear in CNN's "Situation Room" at 4 pm ET.

Richardson, who served as United Nations ambassador and energy secretary in the Clinton administration, drew 5 percent of the vote in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

He received 2 percent in last week's Iowa caucuses, far behind leading Democratic senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.

"The numbers are the reason -- not enough votes and not enough money," a Democratic strategist involved in the campaign told CNN.

However, "He enjoyed it and believes he made a contribution," the strategist said.

As of September, Richardson had raised about $19 million during his White House bid and had spent about $13 million of that, according to Federal Election Commission records.

A year-end report is due at the end of January.

In New Hampshire on Tuesday night, Richardson was looking ahead to the Nevada caucuses on January 19.

"We head out West, and the fight goes on," he told a crowd of cheering supporters. "And we will continue to raise the issue of getting all our troops out of Iraq, and America becoming a clean-energy nation, and getting rid of No Child Left Behind."

from cnn

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