Donald Trump has waded in after Beto O’Rourke ended his presidential bid, saying the Democrat “quit like a dog”.
It is the second time in the space of a week the US president has compared his foes to dogs.
At a White House press conference on Sunday announcing the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Mr Trump said he “died like a dog” as he was captured by US forces in Syria.
And following Mr O’Rourke’s announcement that he was dropping out of the 2020 race, Mr Trump couldn’t resist the opportunity to gloat.
He told supporters at a rally in Tupelo, Mississippi on Friday night: “Beto wasn’t smart. Couldn’t handle it.
“I told my wife. I said ‘see, it’s not so easy’.
“When Beto quit like… he quit like a dog. I said ‘see, people think this is easy, this isn’t easy’.”
Announcing the end of his bid on Friday, Mr O’Rourke tweeted: “Our campaign has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively.
“In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.
“I am grateful to all the people who made up the heart and soul of this campaign. You were among the hundreds of thousands who made a donation, signed up to volunteer or spread the word about this campaign and our opportunity to help decide the election of our lifetime.”