Hunter ends long-shot Republican White House bid

COLUMBIA, South Carolina Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:30pm EST

Presidential Candidate and Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) shakes hands with a supporter during the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2007. Hunter said on Saturday he would end his long-shot presidential bid after he failed to make any headway in a chaotic White House race. REUTERS/John Gress

Presidential Candidate and Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) shakes hands with a supporter during the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2007. Hunter said on Saturday he would end his long-shot presidential bid after he failed to make any headway in a chaotic White House race.

Credit: Reuters/John Gress

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COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Reuters) - Republican Duncan Hunter, a conservative California congressman, said on Saturday he would end his long-shot presidential bid after he failed to make any headway in a chaotic White House race.

Hunter, who had backed a border fence and a crackdown on illegal immigration as well as a strong military, said the race had been worthwhile despite finishing far out of the running in all of the early contests, including South Carolina and Nevada on Saturday.

"The failure of our campaign to gain traction is mine and mine alone," Hunter said in a statement. "But we have driven the issues of national security, the border fence, the emergence of China and the need to reverse bad trade policy."

He said he would return to Congress and work on immigration policy.

"Over the next year in Congress I will do everything in my power to get that fence built," he said.

(Writing by John Whitesides, editing by Jackie Frank)

(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)

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