New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during an MSNBC television appearance on Friday that he is dropping out of the 2020 presidential campaign.
De Blasio, 58, launched his candidacy in May with the central campaign message “Working People First,” becoming at the time the 24th Democrat to attempt to take on U.S. President Donald Trump in next year’s election.
The mayor, who is barred from seeking a third four-year term in New York in 2021, has struggled to build a national profile, eclipsed by progressive Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
De Blasio said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe he would support whoever wins the Democratic Party’s nomination.
“Getting out there, being able to hear people’s concerns, address them with new ideas — it’s been an extraordinary experience,” he said. “But I have to tell you at the same time I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election, and it’s clearly not my time.
“So I’m going to end my presidential campaign, continue my work as mayor of New York City, and I’m going to continue to speak up for working people.”
De Blasio said a “central reason” for his decision was the party’s rules for qualifying for televised debates. He had failed to qualify for the Sept. 12 debate that featured the 10 leading candidates.
“The bar is so high so early that for a lot of us — clearly, some of my fellow chief executives, governors — couldn’t make that cut,” de Blasio said. “It’s clear to me it’s a high bar, and that it’s one I’m not going to be able to meet.”