Mayor Bill de Blasio has ended his 2020 bid for the presidency.
"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 gonna keep speaking up for working people," he said on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" Friday.
De Blasio, who launched his campaign in May, called his experience meeting Americans in early primary states "extraordinary."
But his campaign failed to pick up traction. He didn’t meet the polling or fundraising thresholds to qualify for the third Democratic debate in September and was not expected to get into the upcoming October debate.
A majority of New York City residents didn’t want him to run, and in a Siena poll released Sept. 17, less than 1% of the 359 surveyed New York registered Democrats said de Blasio was their preferred candidate.
Oh no, really big political news, perhaps the biggest story in years! Part time Mayor of New York City, @BilldeBlasio, who was polling at a solid ZERO but had tremendous room for growth, has shocking dropped out of the Presidential race. NYC is devastated, he’s coming home!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Sep 263, 2019
When he was on the debate stage in July, his appearance was overshadowed by protesters who interrupted his opening remarks with chants of "Fire Pantaleo," the NYPD officer accused of causing Eric Garner’s death with a banned chokehold in 2014.
Even with the criticism from his city, the mayor continued to defend his time away crisscrossing the country.
In an op-ed posted Friday on nbcnews.com, he recounted a recent trip to South Carolina, and said his visits to early primary states showed him that "more and more of us across the country are overcoming our divisions and standing up for working people."
De Blasio had made income inequality and fighting for working people the focus of his campaign.
"There’s plenty of money in this world. There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands," he said in his launch video.
In order to win in 2020, "Democrats must return to our roots as a party focused on bold solutions that speak to the concerns of working people," de Blasio wrote in the NBC News op-ed.
"Yes, Donald Trump lies to working people, but he at least pretends to talk to them," he wrote. "That may be enough for him to win, if we do not constantly make it clear that the Democrats are the party of everyday Americans in rural counties and urban centers, the coasts and the heartland."
President Trump responded to de Blasio’s decision to drop out on Twitter Friday morning.
"Part time Mayor of New York City, @BilldeBlasio, who was polling at a solid ZERO but had tremendous room for growth, has shocking dropped out of the Presidential race," he wrote. "NYC is devastated, he’s coming home!"
Following his announcement, de Blasio said he believes his campaign helped push the Democratic party to be more progressive. While he said he had not yet decided whom he will endorse in the primary, he said there are several good candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who he thinks "the world of."
During his campaign, he was critical of former Vice President Joe Biden, the current front-runner, for not being progressive enough.
The mayor had said earlier this month that he would consider ending his campaign after he didn’t make it into the third debate. Candidates needed to have at least 2% support in four qualifying polls and at least 130,000 unique donors, with 400 different donors per state in 20 states, to qualify for the September and October debates.
Speaking candidly about his campaign at an unrelated news conference Sept. 4, de Blasio said it has been particularly challenging to compete with candidates who aren’t currently holding a position as chief executive. He also discussed the "huge amount of work" that goes into being both the mayor of New York City and a presidential hopeful.
"The irony is our current political system basically encourages folks to run for president who don’t have a substantial executive job at that moment," he said. "It’s really hard to think about someone who’s never been a chief executive can just take on that role and make sense of it. I think the reality, the demands of schedule and the way that campaigns are starting earlier and earlier, really makes it much easier for someone who is not a chief executive with a job, to run."
With Lauren Cook