- The Washington Times
Friday, September 20, 2019

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday announced he is ending his presidential campaign, saying it’s not his “time.”

Mr. de Blasio, who has struggled to gain traction in the race and failed to qualify for this month’s Democratic debate, made the announcement on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Getting out there and 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 keep speaking up for working people.”

Mr. de Blasio has said he’s not sure if former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, the current front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, is connecting to “today’s” Democratic party.

He said on Friday he’s comfortable about his past comments, but said he’ll support whoever the nominee ends up being “with energy.”

“I do believe we need a progressive,” Mr. de Blasio said. “I don’t think anyone here would doubt the party has moved in a much more progressive direction the last four years — that’s where the energy is.”

He said Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, a 2020 contender who said recently that Mr. Biden will generate “very little excitement,” is making an “important point.”

“Again, great respect to the vice president — he’s certainly not presenting that agenda that will energize that vote,” Mr. de Blasio said. “I believe in redemption — there’s plenty of time. … There has to be a vision and a message and a believable presentation.”

President Trump on Friday suggested that New York City was heartbroken over the news that Mr. de Blasio will be returning to his day job.

“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!” the president said on Twitter.

Mr. de Blasio joins a handful of other high-profile contenders who have ended their bids for the Democratic presidential nomination in recent weeks and months, including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Rep. Eric Swalwell of California.

Mr. Hickenlooper has since announced a run for U.S. Senate in Colorado.

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