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2016 presidential race: Who's in, and who's out

A glance at what candidates including Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders said as they entered the 2016 presidential race, what also-rans have said as they bowed out, and why Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney decided not to run.

'The clock is ticking, and this is the Hail Mary moment'

NAME: Jill Stein STATUS: The doctor and political
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

NAME: Jill Stein

STATUS: The doctor and political activist from Massachusetts became the Green Party's 2016 presidential nominee at its convention on Aug. 6, 2016.

She is seen speaking on July 26, 2016, with supporters in Philadelphia as the Democratic National Convention was being held there.

QUOTE: "The clock is ticking, and this is the Hail Mary moment," Stein said in her acceptance speech in Houston. "In this election we're not just deciding what kind of world we will have. We're deciding whether we'll have a world or not in the future. The day of reckoning is drawing closer -- on climate change, on endless war, on nuclear weapons, and the next economic meltdown. We're accelerating into all of these crises under Republican and Democratic rule. So It's time to reject the lesser evil and fight for the greater good -- like our lives depend on it, because they do."

DID YOU KNOW? Stein also was the party's nominee in 2012, when she received less than half a million votes.

'To every American who is fed up ... I invite you to join me'

NAME: Evan McMullin STATUS: The former CIA agent
Photo Credit: Getty Images / George Frey

NAME: Evan McMullin

STATUS: The former CIA agent and Republican congressional staffer formally launched his independent campaign for president in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Aug. 10, 2016.

QUOTE: "The American people have had enough of politicians who will say and do anything for selfish political gain," McMullin wrote on his website after Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas belatedly endorsed his former primary rival Donald Trump on Sept. 23, 2016. "That's why I'm running for president -- to ensure that the timeless American principles and character on which our nation was founded are preserved for generations to come. To every American who is fed up with both of these candidates and the politicians who kowtow to them: I invite you to join me. Together, we will build a new era of American leadership."

DID YOU KNOW? McMullin has made it onto the ballot in several states.

'I am fiscally conservative in spades and I am socially liberal in spades'

NAME: Gary Johnson STATUS: The former New Mexico
Photo Credit: AP / Rick Bowmer

NAME: Gary Johnson

STATUS: The former New Mexico governor and 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee announced Jan. 6, 2016, that he would seek the presidency again this year. He won the party's 2016 nomination on the second ballot at its convention in Orlando, Fla., on May 29, 2016.

QUOTE: "I am fiscally conservative in spades and I am socially liberal in spades," said Johnson, who governed New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican. "I would cut back on military interventions that have the unintended consequence of making us less safe in the world."

DID YOU KNOW? Johnson needs to average 15 percent in five recognized polls to make it on the stage for the fall presidential debates. His running mate is former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.

'The spirit, the essence of America lies in the hearts and souls of us'

NAME: John Kasich STATUS: Became 16th candidate in
Photo Credit: AP / John Minchillo

NAME: John Kasich

STATUS: Became 16th candidate in 2016 GOP field on July 21, 2015; became the 16th and last one to drop out on May 4, 2016

QUOTES: The second-term Ohio governor, who ran a notably positive campaign, renewed his call for Americans to spend more time helping one another as he dropped out. He also emotionally recounted his exchanges with voters as he ended his long-shot bid. He only won his own state.

"The spirit, the essence of America lies in the hearts and souls of us," Kasich said at The Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Columbus. "Some missed this message. It wasn't sexy, it wasn't a great sound bite."

When he joined the field, Kasich plugged his experience and testing, saying it was "the testing which shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world, and I believe I know how to work and help restore this great United States." He pitched himself as the only Republican candidate with experience in three broad areas of political leadership: the federal budget, national security and state government.

DID YOU KNOW? In 1997, Kasich, then a congressman and House budget chairman, helped put together a deal that balanced the federal budget.

'Together, we left it all on the field in Indiana'

NAME: Ted Cruz STATUS: Became first major candidate
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Joe Raedle

NAME: Ted Cruz

STATUS: Became first major candidate for president March 23, 2015; ended his campaign May 3, 2016

QUOTES: After a loss to Republican front-runner Donald Trump in the Indiana primary, Cruz said he no longer saw a path to victory.

"Together, we left it all on the field in Indiana," the Texas senator said. "We gave it everything we've got, but the voters chose another path, and so with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign."

Cruz launched his campaign on March 23, 2015, at the Christian college Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he courted cultural and Christian conservatives. "I believe in America and her people, and I believe we can stand up and restore our promise," he said in an online video earlier that day. "It's going to take a new generation of courageous conservatives to help make America great again, and I'm ready to stand with you to lead the fight."

DID YOU KNOW? Cruz was one of the top college debaters in the country when he was a student at Princeton.

'Count me out'

NAME: Paul Ryan STATUS: Not running QUOTES:
Photo Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

NAME: Paul Ryan

STATUS: Not running

QUOTES: "Let me be clear: I do not want, nor will I accept, the Republican nomination," the House speaker said on April 12, 2016, seeking to end speculation that he could emerge as the GOP's candidate at a contested convention.

"So let me speak directly to the delegates on this: If no candidate has a majority on the first ballot, I believe you should only choose a person who actually participated in the primary. Count me out," the Wisconsin congressman said at a news conference at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington. "I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee -- to be the president -- you should actually run for it. I chose not to. Therefore, I should not be considered. Period."

Ryan first declared he wouldn't be running in 2016 more than a year earlier. "I'm ready to get on with my job, and I'm excited about what's ahead," he said on Jan. 12, 2015 -- saying that he wanted to focus on his then-new role as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Two months before that, the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012 had sidestepped questions about 2016. "One thing at a time, one step at a time," he said on Nov. 18, 2014. "I'll deal with that later."

DID YOU KNOW? Ryan rose to become speaker of the House on Oct. 29, 2015, after being persuaded to take on the tough job. A divided Republican caucus forced the resignation of his predecessor, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio. "Let's be frank: The House is broken," Ryan said.

'It is not God's plan that I be president in 2016, or maybe even ever'

NAME: Marco Rubio
 

STATUS: Began campaign April 13,
Photo Credit: AP / Paul Sancya

NAME: Marco Rubio




STATUS: Began campaign April 13, 2015; ended it March 15, 2016


QUOTES: "It is not God's plan that I be president in 2016, or maybe even ever," the Florida senator told supporters after he was soundly defeated by Republican front-runner Donald Trump in his home state. "I ask the American people, do not give in to the fear. Do not give in to the frustration. We can disagree about public policy, we can disagree about it vibrantly -- passionately -- but we are a hopeful people, and we have every right to be hopeful."

Back in 2015, Rubio told his most generous backers in a conference call that preceded his official campaign announcement, "I feel uniquely qualified to not just make that argument, but to outline the policies that we need to have in order to achieve it." He was referring to the planned central message of his campaign: The GOP is a party that cares about all voters, not just those in the upper tax brackets.

Before he got in the race, Rubio confidently said on Jan. 7, 2015, "I believe that if I decide to run for president, we have a path to be a very competitive candidate, and ultimately to win."



DID YOU KNOW? Rubio was one of three likely GOP presidential candidates who decried income inequality on Jan. 25, 2015, during a California forum organized by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, The Washington Post reported. Also doing so: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

'That is not a risk I can take in good conscience'

NAME: Michael Bloomberg STATUS: Said that he will
Photo Credit: AP, 2015 / hibault Camus

NAME: Michael Bloomberg

STATUS: Said that he will not run for president on March 7, 2016

QUOTES: After months exploring a third-party bid, the former three-term New York City mayor decided not to run, saying that he could not win. Moreover, Bloomberg said, a three-way race could send the election to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, leading to the election of Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. "That is not a risk I can take in good conscience," Bloomberg wrote in Bloomberg View.

Bloomberg was sharply critical of both candidates, saying that Trump has run "the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people's prejudices and fears."

"We cannot 'make America great again' by turning our backs on the values that made us the world's greatest nation in the first place," Bloomberg wrote. "I love our country too much to play a role in electing a candidate who would weaken our unity and darken our future -- and so I will not enter the race for president of the United States."

DID YOU KNOW? Bloomberg also flirted with presidential runs for the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, but concluded then, as now, that he could not win.

There are 'a lot of people who love me, they just won't vote for me'

NAME: Ben Carson STATUS: Began campaign May 4,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wong

NAME: Ben Carson

STATUS: Began campaign May 4, 2015; ended it March 4, 2016

QUOTES: Carson told an adoring Conservative Political Action Conference crowd in National Harbor, Md., that there are "a lot of people who love me, they just won't vote for me." He reiterated that he was leaving the campaign trail, as he first announced two days before, on March 2: "I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening's Super Tuesday primary results. However, this grassroots movement on behalf of 'we the people' will continue."

Carson said he would work on a project to encourage religious values voters to take part in elections.

"It's time for people to rise up and take the government back," the social conservative said when he announced his candidacy in his native Detroit. "The political class won't like me saying things like that. The political class comes from both parties."

DID YOU KNOW? The acclaimed neurosurgeon directed the first surgery to separate conjoined twins connected at the back of the head. And Cuba Gooding Jr. played Carson in the 2009 movie "Gifted Hands."

'Thank you for the opportunity to run for the greatest office on the face of the earth'

NAME: Jeb BushSTATUS: Began campaign on June 15,
Photo Credit: AP / Matt Rourke

NAME: Jeb Bush

STATUS: Began campaign on June 15, 2015; ended it Feb. 20, 2016, after the South Carolina primary

QUOTES: "Thank you for the opportunity to run for the greatest office on the face of the earth," an emotional Bush told his supporters as he dropped out after a dismal showing in South Carolina.

When he launched his bid with a speech in Miami, the former Florida governor said, "We will lift our sights again, make opportunity common again, get events in the world moving our way again."

He continued: "We will take Washington, the static capital of this dynamic country, and turn it out of the business of causing problems and we'll get it back on the right side of free enterprise and freedom for all Americans.

"I know we can fix this because I've done it. ... So many challenges could be overcome if we could just get this economy growing at full strength. There's not a reason in the world why we cannot grow at a rate of 4 percent a year, and that will be my goal as president."

DID YOU KNOW? Bush's previous run for office was in 2002, when he was re-elected governor of Florida. He is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and the brother of former President George W. Bush.

Ends campaign 'without an ounce of regret'

NAME: Chris Christie STATUS: Got in the Republican
Photo Credit: AP / Charles Krupa

NAME: Chris Christie

STATUS: Got in the Republican race on June 30, 2015; dropped out on Feb. 10, 2016

QUOTES: The New Jersey governor only placed sixth in the New Hampshire primary, but ended his White House bid the next day "without an ounce of regret." He's shown thanking supporters during a primary night rally in Nashua, New Hampshire on Feb. 9.

"While running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed -- that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation," Christie wrote on his Facebook page and in an email to supporters. "That message was heard by and stood for by a lot of people, but just not enough and that's OK."

Back when he announced his candidacy at his old high school in Livingston, New Jersey, Christie said, "The idea of going back to where you were when you were 15, or 16, or 17 years old, and to be able to stand in front of that group of people and offer yourself to the presidency is a really, really amazing moment."

DID YOU KNOW? "The first race I ever ran in, I did not vote for myself," Christie told the AP. "I voted for the other person because I actually thought that you know it was conceited to vote for yourself. And I wound up losing the election by two votes."

'I will continue to travel this country and fight ...'

NAME: Carly FiorinaSTATUS: Began campaign May 4, 2015;
Photo Credit: AP / The Brattleboro Reformer / Kristopher Radder

NAME: Carly Fiorina

STATUS: Began campaign May 4, 2015; left Republican race on Feb. 10, 2016, after finishing seventh in the New Hampshire primary. She's shown on the campaign trail in Keene, New Hampshire on Feb. 7, 2016.

QUOTE: "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," the former Hewlett-Packard CEO wrote on Facebook.

"I understand executive decision-making, which is making the tough call in the tough time with high stakes for which you're prepared to be held accountable," Fiorina said when she entered the race.

DID YOU KNOW? Fiorina criticized Hillary Clinton early and often in her campaign -- and her meta announcement video began with her watching Clinton's announcement video, before taking aim.

Rubio 'is the new generation and someone that can bring this country together'

NAME: Rick SantorumSTATUS: Began campaign May 27, 2015;
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Scott Olson

NAME: Rick Santorum

STATUS: Began campaign May 27, 2015; dropped out Feb. 3, 2016

QUOTE: "The best way to do what I set out to do when we announced the run for president . . . (is) by not furthering our campaign," Santorum announced on Fox News Channel. He threw his support to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 44, who he said shares his values and "is the new generation and someone that can bring this country together."

"The last race, we changed the debate. This race, with your help and God's grace, we can change this nation," the former Pennsylvania senator said as he launched his second presidential campaign in a cinder block warehouse in Cabot, Pennsylvania, as he focused his remarks on working-class Americans.

DID YOU KNOW? Santorum laid the foundation for his 2012 Republican caucus win in Iowa by touring the Hawkeye State's 99 counties in a pickup truck. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks to reporters in the spin room after the first part of the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center on Jan. 14, 2016.

'The fight is far from over'

NAME: Rand Paul STATUS: Began campaign April 7,
Photo Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

NAME: Rand Paul

STATUS: Began campaign April 7, 2015; ended it Feb. 3, 2016

QUOTES: "The fight is far from over," Paul said in a statement as he dropped out following his fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. "I will continue to carry the torch for liberty in the United States Senate and I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term."

The first-term senator took on both parties and special interests and promised a government that would be restrained by the Constitution at his campaign launch in Louisville, Ky., above. "I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words," Paul said. "We have come to take our country back."

DID YOU KNOW? In his 2012 budget proposal, Paul called for the military's size and spending to be reduced. In March 2015, he said the Pentagon's budget should be increased by 16 percent.

The presidency 'is a sacred trust to be earned from the people of the United States'

NAME: Martin O'MalleySTATUS: Began campaign May 30, 2015,
Photo Credit: EPA / Andrew Gombert

NAME: Martin O'Malley

STATUS: Began campaign May 30, 2015, and dropped out Feb. 1, 2016



QUOTES: "The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth ... between two royal families," the former Maryland governor said as he entered the Democratic race in Baltimore. "It is a sacred trust to be earned from the people of the United States, and exercised on behalf of the people of the United States."

O'Malley, seen in Brooklyn on Dec. 15, 2015, suspended his campaign after a performance in the Iowa caucuses that matched where he remained through the race: in distant third place.

DID YOU KNOW? O'Malley's former boss and mentor, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, is backing Hillary Clinton, but said O'Malley "should follow his dreams. And while I've already announced my support for Hillary Clinton, I know that competition is good for democracy."

'Thank you for all your loyal support'

NAME: Mike HuckabeeSTATUS: Began campaign May 5, 2015,
Photo Credit: Bloomberg News / Ruth Fremson

NAME: Mike Huckabee

STATUS: Began campaign May 5, 2015, and ended it Feb. 1, 2016

QUOTES: "I am officially suspending my campaign. Thank you for all your loyal support," Huckabee said on Twitter on the night of the Iowa caucuses. He finished far back in the Hawkeye State in 2016, eight years after his victory there.

The foreign policy hawk promised a hard line on Iran and loyalty to Israel when he launched his second presidential bid. "The ayatollahs will know that hell will freeze over before they get a nuclear weapon," he said.

The ordained minister and conservative populist, who won eight states in all in 2008, said he supports a "maximum wage" for workers (but not a minimum wage hike). He also called President Barack Obama's immigration policy a way to "import low-wage labor, undercut American workers and drive wages lower than the Dead Sea."

DID YOU KNOW? Huckabee began his campaign in Hope, Arkansas -- the hometown he shares with former President Bill Clinton.

Politicians 'must be the people's servant and not their master'

NAME: George PatakiSTATUS: Began campaign May 28, 2015;
Photo Credit: AP / John Locher

NAME: George Pataki

STATUS: Began campaign May 28, 2015; ended it Dec. 29

QUOTES: "While tonight is the end of my journey for the White House as I suspend my campaign for president, I'm confident we can elect the right person, someone who will bring us together and who understands that politicians, including the president, must be the people's servant and not their master," the centrist Republican said in a TV ad. The former three-term New York governor never made it on a main debate stage. In an undercard debate in December, he said of the GOP front-runner, "Donald Trump is the Know-Nothing candidate of the 21st century and cannot be our nominee."

Pataki ran on the campaign slogan that is the name of his super PAC: "We the People, Not Washington." He emphasized in a campaign video that he was elected governor "in a very deep blue state" and that his vision wasn't partisan, but "about people."

DID YOU KNOW? Pataki flirted with a White House bid twice before.

2016 'an election for the heart and soul of the Republican Party'

NAME: Lindsey GrahamSTATUS: Entered race on June 1,
Photo Credit: Bloomberg News / Luke Sharrett

NAME: Lindsey Graham

STATUS: Entered race on June 1, 2015; ended campaign Dec. 21

QUOTES: After bowing out in a video, the Republican senator from South Carolina said in a taped interview on CNN that the election is "not about 2016" but is "an election for the heart and soul of the Republican Party."

"I've got one simple message," Graham said when he began his campaign in his hometown of Central, above. "I have more experience with our national security than any other candidate in this race. That includes you, Hillary."

Graham dedicated himself to defeating U.S. adversaries, saying that "radical Islam is running wild." While focusing on Islamic State militants, he also warned about what he said are graver threats posed by Iran.

DID YOU KNOW? Graham became the guardian of his 13-year-old sister Darline when their parents died when he was in college. "We depended on Social Security benefits to survive," he said. "As president, I'll gladly do what it takes to save a program that once saved my family."

'I've come to the realization that this is not my time'

NAME: Bobby Jindal STATUS: Entered Republican race on
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Sean Gardner

NAME: Bobby Jindal

STATUS: Entered Republican race on June 24, 2015, and dropped out Nov. 17

QUOTES: "I've come to the realization that this is not my time," Jindal said on Fox News Channel. The two-term Louisiana governor focused his entire campaign on Iowa, but didn't win much support there or elsewhere.

Jindal, the country's first elected Indian-American governor, left office Jan. 11.

"We have a bunch of great talkers running for president," Jindal said in Kenner, La., above, as he joined the huge GOP field in June. "We've had enough of talkers. It's time for a doer. I'm not running for president to be somebody. I'm running for president to do something."

DID YOU KNOW? A video clip on Jindal's website had some interesting phrasing from the governor as he and his wife, Supriya, talked with their children. "Mommy and Daddy have been thinking and talking a lot about this, and we have decided we are going to be running for president," he told them.

'After much thought I have decided to end my campaign'

NAME: Lincoln Chafee STATUS: Entered race on June
Photo Credit: AP / Jacquelyn Martin

NAME: Lincoln Chafee

STATUS: Entered race on June 3, 2015; left it Oct. 23

QUOTE: "After much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today," Chafee said at a Democratic National Committee women's forum in Washington. "But I would like to take this opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace."

"We must deliberately and carefully extricate ourselves from expensive wars," the former Rhode Island governor and senator said as he began his campaign before a half-full classroom at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. "We need to be very smart in these voluble times overseas." The Democrat refused to rule out talks with the Islamic State.

DID YOU KNOW? Chafee was the only Republican senator who voted against authorizing the war in Iraq. He later left the GOP and turned independent before becoming a Democrat in 2013.

'I believe we’re out of time'

NAME: Joe Biden
 
 STATUS: Not running

 QUOTES:
Photo Credit: Bloomberg / Mike Theiler

NAME: Joe Biden
 


STATUS: Not running



QUOTES: After months of public and emotional indecision, the Democratic vice president announced on Oct. 21, 2015, that he would not make a 2016 White House run. Biden said his family was emotionally ready for a presidential campaign, months after the death of his 46-year-old son, Beau, to cancer. But, he said in the Rose Garden, "Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time."

 


Biden told Stephen Colbert on Sept. 10 that presidential candidates must be able to promise voters they can commit their whole heart, soul, energy and passion, and said, "I'd be lying if I said that I knew I was there."




"Nobody has a right, in my view, to seek that office unless they're willing to give it 110 percent of who they are," Biden said on CBS' "The Late Show."



DID YOU KNOW? Biden first ran for president nearly three decades ago, in 1988, and then again in 2008, when he dropped out before Barack Obama chose him as his vice presidential nominee.

'The very nature of our democracy is under siege'

NAME: Jim Webb STATUS: Joined the Democratic field
Photo Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik

NAME: Jim Webb

STATUS: Joined the Democratic field on July 2, 2015; dropped out Oct. 20

QUOTES: "The very nature of our democracy is under siege due to the power structure and the money that finances both political parties," Webb said as he withdrew his Democratic bid at the National Press Club in Washington. His wife Hong Le Webb is at left. "Our political candidates are being pulled to the extremes. They're increasingly out of step with the people they're supposed to serve." The former Virginia senator said he did not have a "clear, exact fit" in either major party.

When he got in the race, Webb said in a statement on his campaign website, "I understand the odds, particularly in today's political climate, where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money."

DID YOU KNOW? Webb is a former Republican who was Navy secretary under President Ronald Reagan. He is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, and wrote an acclaimed novel, "Fields of Fire," about the conflict.

'I am not well-known to the American public generally'

NAME: Lawrence Lessig STATUS: Declared his candidacy on
Photo Credit: AP / File

NAME: Lawrence Lessig

STATUS: Declared his candidacy on Sept. 6, 2015; ended it Nov. 2

QUOTES: "I may be known in tiny corners of the tubes of the Internets, but I am not well-known to the American public generally," the Harvard law professor said in an online video, blaming the Democratic Party for shutting him out of the primary debates.

"I think I'm running to get people to acknowledge the elephant in the room," Lessig said on ABC's "This Week" on Sept. 6. "We have to recognize -- we have a government that does not work. The stalemate, partisan platform of American politics in Washington right now doesn't work."

DID YOU KNOW? Lessig's campaign sought to lessen the influence of big money in politics. His platform was passing a proposed Citizen Equality Act of 2017, a package of reforms that he said would fix American democracy.

'I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field'

NAME: Scott Walker STATUS: Announced candidacy on July
Photo Credit: AP / Morry Gash

NAME: Scott Walker

STATUS: Announced candidacy on July 13, 2015, and suspended his campaign Sept. 21, citing an urgent need to "clear the field" to help defeat GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

QUOTES: "I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With that in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately. ... I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner." Above: Walker explained his decision to suspend his campaign at a news conference in Madison, Wis.

Walker, presenting himself as a Washington outsider, has called the city "68 square miles surrounded by reality."

DID YOU KNOW? Walker said he doesn't have a problem with a few boring tags the media may ascribe to him. "I'd rather have bland or uncharismatic than dumb or ignorant, or corrupt or any of the other things that they could label other would-be candidates out there, or old, for that matter."

'I step aside knowing our party is in good hands'

NAME: Rick Perry STATUS: Began second presidential bid
Photo Credit: AP / Sid Hastings

NAME: Rick Perry

STATUS: Began second presidential bid June 4, 2015, and dropped out Sept. 11

QUOTES: "I have been tested," the former governor of the Lone Star State said at his campaign launch in Addison, Texas, above. "I have led the most successful state in America."

At the end of the summer with about 1 percent support in the polls, Perry decided to call it quits. "We have a tremendous field of candidates -- probably the greatest group of men and women," he said at an Eagle Forum event in St. Louis. "I step aside knowing our party is in good hands, as long as we listen to the grassroots, listen to that cause of conservatism. If we do that, then our party will be in good hands."

Above: Perry hugs Madeline Martin, the daughter of Eagle Forum president Ed Martin, before the St. Louis event.

DID YOU KNOW? The Republican was the longest-serving governor in Texas history, holding the office from December 2000 to January 2015. In 2001, Perry vetoed 78 bills in what is called the "Father's Day Massacre." And the only elections he's lost were his presidential campaigns.

'I'll put my background and experience against anyone ...'

NAME: Jim Gilmore STATUS: Became 17th Republican candidate
Photo Credit: AP / Jim Cole

NAME: Jim Gilmore

STATUS: Became 17th Republican candidate for president on July 29, 2015; ended campaign Feb. 12, 2016, a few days after the New Hampshire primary

QUOTE: "I'll put my background and experience against anyone in the field," the former one-term governor of Virginia said earlier in July. Most of the Republican candidates are better known and have better financing than Gilmore, who told The Associated Press that his record as a national security expert and fiscal conservative will help him stand out.

DID YOU KNOW? Gilmore was governor when the Pentagon in northern Virginia was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. He was an intelligence officer in the Army during the Cold War.

'There comes a time when you have to face reality'

NAME: Peter King STATUS: Not running QUOTE:
Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

NAME: Peter King

STATUS: Not running

QUOTE: "The original plan was to get into the debates and take it from there, but now there are so many candidates, and you'd need so much money just to get up front and into the debates," King said on July 1, 2015.

DID YOU KNOW? The Republican congressman from Seaford has written three novels about his political experiences, called "Terrible Beauty," "Deliver Us from Evil," and "Vale of Tears."

'I'm really rich'

NAME: Donald TrumpSTATUS: Officially joined the Republican presidential
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

NAME: Donald Trump

STATUS: Officially joined the Republican presidential field on June 16, 2015

QUOTES: "The greatest social program is a job," said the businessman, who claimed a net worth of more than $8 billion as he announced his candidacy at the Trump Tower Atrium in Manhattan, above. "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created."

"I don't need anybody's money," Trump said of his self-funded campaign. "I'm really rich."

DID YOU KNOW? Music from "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera" was played at Trump's launch.

'It's America’s basic bargain'

NAME: Hillary ClintonSTATUS: Began campaign April 12, 2015
Photo Credit: AP / Frank Franklin II

NAME: Hillary Clinton

STATUS: Began campaign April 12, 2015

QUOTES: "Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top," Clinton said in a YouTube video announcing her candidacy.

In the first major speech of her campaign, on Manhattan's Roosevelt Island on June 13, Clinton said she will fight for everyday Americans and their prosperity. "It's America's basic bargain," said the Democrat, seen above before her remarks. "If you do your part, you ought to be able to get ahead. And when everybody does their part, America gets ahead too."

DID YOU KNOW? "If you're not in office, you can say whatever you want," former President Bill Clinton said in Atlanta on Jan. 17, 2015. "Unless your wife might run for something, then you've got to be more careful."

'I don't want to do it unless we can win this thing'

NAME: Bernie SandersSTATUS: Began campaign May 26, 2015
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Win McNamee

NAME: Bernie Sanders

STATUS: Began campaign May 26, 2015

QUOTE: Sanders, Vermont's independent senator, aims to ignite a grassroots fire among left-leaning Democrats wary of Hillary Clinton. But he rejects the notion that he's simply in the race to shape the debate. "Hillary Clinton is a candidate. I am a candidate. I suspect there will be other candidates. The people in this country will make their choice."

In December 2014, Sanders said that if he ran, he intended to win. "I don't want to do it unless I can do it well. I don't want to do it unless we can win this thing."

DID YOU KNOW? Sanders hails from Brooklyn, where he grew up in a Jewish family that was, he says, solidly lower middle class.

'Oh, no, no, no ...' becomes maybe, then no

NAME: Mitt Romney STATUS: Not running QUOTES:
Photo Credit: AP / Charles Krupa, File

NAME: Mitt Romney

STATUS: Not running

QUOTES: "I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee," Romney told supporters on a conference call Jan. 30, 2015. "In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case."

His decision not to run was merely the latest (and presumably final) twist in the Romney 2016 storyline. In January 2014, when The New York Times asked whether he would consider a third White House campaign, Romney said, “Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. People are always gracious and say, ‘Oh, you should run again.’ I’m not running again.” But on Jan. 10, 2015, Romney waded back in as he surprised a small group of former donors with the news that he was eyeing another run.

DID YOU KNOW? Romney tested a political speech that focused on the poor and middle class.

'I am not running for president'

NAME: Elizabeth Warren STATUS: Not running QUOTES:
Photo Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite, File

NAME: Elizabeth Warren

STATUS: Not running

QUOTES: "No." That's the simple answer Warren gave Fortune recently when asked whether she's going to run. A spokeswoman elaborated, "As Sen. Warren has said many times, she is not running for president." She said that repeatedly in an interview with NPR in December 2014. "I am not running for president. You want me to put an exclamation point at the end?" Warren said.

DID YOU KNOW? The Democratic Massachusetts senator is the subject of a draft movement, "Run Warren Run," organized by MoveOn.org and Democracy for America.

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