Republican Mitt Romney announced he was suspending his presidential nomination campaign at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Here are parts of his lengthy speech, which covered everything from culture to Christianity, and welfare to war:
As I said to you last year, conservative principles are needed now more than ever. We face a new generation of challenges, challenges which threaten our prosperity, our security and our future.
I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century - still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower. And to me, that is unthinkable.
Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality.
Some reason that culture is merely an accessory to America's vitality; we know that it is the source of our strength. And we are not dissuaded by the snickers and knowing glances when we stand up for family values, and morality, and culture.
And finally, let's consider the greatest challenge facing America - and facing the entire civilised world: the threat of violent, radical jihad... They hate everything we believe about freedom just as we hate everything they believe about radical jihad.
If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win.
And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.
This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters... many of you right here in this room... have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming president.
If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.
I will continue to stand for conservative principles; I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next president of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism.