OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Donald Trump’s third bid for the White House is going as well as the first time he ran, as he appears to be on a glide path to the Republican nomination once more, causing other GOP hopefuls to rethink their options.
That includes Steve Laffey, the former mayor of Cranston, R.I. The little-known candidate called it quits last week after failing to make much headway. And as he left the race, he not only ripped the frontrunner but also the party he was seeking to represent in the White House.
“I love being on the trail. I love meeting people,” he told ABC News. “I am crestfallen that I wasn’t able to cross the chasm.”
ABC added that Laffey never managed to break through in national polling, nor did he have any breakout moments that could have put him on voters’ radars. As such, he never qualified for the GOP debates, attributing his low name recognition.
Laffey is the second Republican contender to drop out behind Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. However, unlike Suarez, Laffey decided to withdraw because, in addition to an inability to raise enough money to continue, he said he no longer believes in the GOP message.
“I don’t have an avenue to tell people with a straight face, ‘It’s now October — how do I take off and take New Hampshire and keep going?’ But at the same time, I’m telling people the GOP is dead,” he said, adding that he plans to re-register as an Independent.
NEW: Steve Laffey, the former mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, is dropping out of the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. https://t.co/vQRx4qlFbH
— ABC News (@ABC) October 6, 2023
“I am really, really upset about certain things with my party. I will be leaving the party,” he said.
Of course, he blamed former President Donald Trump.
“He’s an authoritarian figure who’s getting stronger,” Laffey told the outlet, adding that he thinks Trump should be in jail.
“There’s worse things than watching ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ the original one, on a Friday night eating some Breyers ice cream,” Laffey jokingly said of his immediate future. “You haven’t heard the last from me. It just won’t be, at least for now, as a Republican candidate for president, and it won’t be as a Republican.”
“I still think there’s a body of work that I can contribute to. I don’t know what it’s exactly going to be, I wish I did,” he said.
Trump is not only leading the GOP field by a mile, he’s also beating President Joe Biden in an increasing number of national polls.
And Trump’s campaign took in tens of millions of dollars during the third quarter, exceeding his high second-quarter performance as he continues to surge ahead of his 2024 Republican rivals.
Trump’s campaign announced last week that it raised $45.5 million in the third quarter, The New York Times reported.
The campaign reported having more than $37.5 million in cash on hand, a release stated. In addition, Trump’s campaign said that GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is in second place behind Trump in most polls, only had $5 million in cash on hand for the ongoing primaries, the Times added.
“DeSantis’s campaign raised $15 million in the third quarter. Robert Bigelow, who donated $20 million to a DeSantis-allied PAC, said in August he would stop donating if DeSantis didn’t moderate his policy positions,” The Daily Caller noted further, citing the Times.
In the release, the Trump campaign announced: “In an impressive testament to the overwhelming grassroots support behind President Trump that will lead to dominating victories, close to $36 million of the total cash on hand is designated for the primary.”
“While DeSanctus’ fundraising, like his poll numbers, has seen an exponential drop even from July, President Trump outraised his impressive $35 million haul in Q2 (which doubled Q1 fundraising) by more than $10 million,” the Trump campaign said.
“The Q3 numbers are even more impressive considering the Summer months are usually when most campaigns experience lagging fundraising support,” the Trump campaign added. “President Trump and his campaign have completely shattered that notion.”