St. Louis, MO - Below is the transcript of remarks Rep. Dick Gephardt delivered today regarding the future of his presidential campaign:
"As I said last evening, I'd like to congratulate again the other candidates for their strong campaigns in Iowa. Enormous voter turnout shows the great strength and determination of the Democratic Party to reclaim the White House, and I accept the results with the knowledge that I gave this campaign everything that I had in me.
"Today my pursuit of the presidency has reached its end. I'm withdrawing as a candidate, and returning to private life, after a long time in the warm light of public service. I'd like to again thank the citizens of the 3rd Congressional District for their support and the privilege and honor of serving them in the Congress, for going on 28 years.
"I'd also like to thank them for standing by me during this final campaign. My life's work has been fighting for the honor and dignity of their life's work. And I couldn't ask for anything better from life.
"I'm going to return to Congress, and dedicate my last remaining year to representing them with the best of my ability. Every day of my working life I've sought to bring positive change to the hard working men and women of this country, and my efforts will not cease in these final months.
"I will continue to work for universal healthcare, pension reform, more teachers in the classroom, energy independence from Persian Gulf oil, and a trade policy that doesn't sacrifice American jobs in pursuit of trade with countries that have no respect for the environment, or the living conditions of their own people. American workers can't compete with that, and they shouldn't have to.
"I'm proud of the campaign we waged. It was fought on the principles of fairness for our workers, security for our seniors, and opportunity for our children. My career in public office is coming to an end, but the fight is never over.
"All of you who have dedicated so many months and years to this effort, I hope and pray that you will stay in the arena of public life. Never stop fighting for what you believe in and never stop believing that we can make a difference. The towering strength of America is its endless reservoir of citizens who never tire of the sacrifice to make it better.
"I love this country and I love my family. The silver lining in all of this, is that I'll finally get to see them, at every opportunity, rather than when opportunities could be found. Jane, Matt, Chrissy and Kate are my life. And to them I'll always be grateful. God bless you all."