Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, languishing with little visible support for his moderate message, suspended his Republican presidential campaign Tuesday night due to a lack of funding.
“I am suspending my candidacy for the nomination because I am out of money,” Specter said in an appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
Specter, whose campaign has been struggling financially for some time, stopped just short of dropping out of the race completely.
“What I’m doing tonight and for the next several days will be appealing to Republicans across the country who are looking for a message of moderation to help me finance the campaign,” Specter told the program’s guest host, former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh.
Earlier in the day, several campaign officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Specter reluctantly decided to call it quits in the face of dismal fund-raising and a lack of support from party moderates.
“In this day of presidential politics where money is so important, unless I can get some financial help, I’m suspending,” Specter said during his TV appearance.
Specter’s departure from the race would leave a GOP field of eight candidates dominated by conservatives. He planned a formal announcement of his decision today in Philadelphia.
Specter, who failed to rise above 2 percent in the polls, had sought to pull his party back from what he considered a far right tilt.
The end of his campaign is not expected to significantly change the presidential race, where Specter was always an also-ran in polls.