Washington (CNSNews.com) - Conservative activist Gary Bauer bowed out of the Republican presidential race Friday, but pledged to stay in the conservative movement, saying that he will continue to fight abortion and champion human rights.
"Widening the circle of liberty to include the unborn will be the great civil rights struggle of the 21st century," said Bauer at a press conference.
"On this I will not be moved; on this I will not go away," added the former head of the Family Research Council and one-time advisor to President Ronald Reagan.
Bauer also promised to continue to speak out against what he termed an "appeasement" of China over the issue of human rights violations in the communist nation.
"Tempted by the allure of the 'China market' and seduced by the promise of easy profits, we have turned a blind eye to the massive communist assault on human rights and dignity. The communist policy can only be characterized as one of appeasement," said Bauer.
After months on the campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire, Bauer's road to the presidency ended just a few blocks from the White House where he assisted Reagan on education policy during the 1980s. He landed his first job in Washington as a researcher for a policy analyst more than 25 years ago when he first arrived in the nation's capital from his home state of Kentucky.
"I gave Gary his first job in Washington after he graduated from Georgetown Law School, and I have never seen anyone grow so much in stature," John Daly told CNSNews.com.
Daly, who is now active in the pro-life movement, said that Bauer worked for him from 1973 to 1976. He added that he expects Bauer to remain active in the fight against abortion.
J. Wesley Yoder, a Bauer consultant, told CNSNews.com, "Bauer will continue to represent true conservatives" on the right-to-life issue.
Bauer campaign manager and treasurer Frank Cannon told CNSNews.com that the campaign is leaving the presidential race in good financial shape and will spend the next few months taking care of business matters. He added that Bauer is undecided about future presidential runs or campaigning for other elected offices.