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Republican Giuliani ends U.S. presidential campaign

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani ended his White House campaign on Wednesday and endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain's Republican presidential bid.

Giuliani, the one-time Republican front-runner known for his leadership after the Sept. 11 attacks, finished a distant third behind McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Tuesday in Florida's Republican presidential primary.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani addresses supporters during a campaign rally in Clearwater, Florida in this January 28, 2008 file photo. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius)

"Today I am officially announcing my withdrawal as a candidate for president of the United States," Giuliani said at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, before a Republican presidential debate.

"John McCain is the most qualified candidate to be the next commander-in-chief of the United States."

Giuliani had bypassed the other early voting states in the Republican race to concentrate on Florida, but saw his support fade steadily as his rivals commanded the spotlight over the last month.

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