An emotional Michael Steele just took the stage at the RNC meeting to announce that he's dropping out of the race.

"I release my supporters and I ask them to stand with me in supporting Maria Cino," Steele said.

Steele said it became apparent to him that the party wants to go in a different direction, but he defended his record. "Despite the noise" and "despite the difficulties, we won." He received two standing ovations--one after saying that line, and another after finishing his speech. "And now, I exit stage right," Steele concluded, before leaving the podium.

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