Government

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ends presidential quest

Democrat, who made frequent trips to Iowa, did poorly in polls

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is interviewed July 3 at The Gazette in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is interviewed July 3 at The Gazette in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination Friday after struggling to gain traction in a sprawling field of candidates.

Announcing his decision in an MSNBC interview, de Blasio did not offer support to any candidate but said he would support the eventual Democratic nominee.

“I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election, and it’s clearly not my time,” de Blasio told the hosts of “Morning Joe.” ‘’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 and for a Democratic Party that stands for working people.”

President Donald Trump, no fan of de Blasio, tweeted: “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!”

De Blasio joins New York U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington U.S. Sen. Jay Inslee, Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and California U.S. Rep. Eric Swallwell in ending their presidential campaigns.

The 58-year-old mayor launched his bid in May but his campaign largely failed to take off. He never achieved higher than 1 percent n a national poll and was ridiculed in the media, most recently in a Washington Post story headlined “Bill de Blasio’s presidential campaign has burned down, fallen over and sunk into a swamp.”

De Blasio struggled to achieve the breakout moment he needed to stand out in the crowded Democratic field.

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After a strong performance in the first round of debates in June, he flubbed a campaign appearance in Miami by quoting Che Guevara. De Blasio said he did not know that the slogan “Hasta la victoria siempre!” was associated with Guevara, a leader of the Cuban Revolution who is reviled by much of Miami’s Cuban population.

De Blasio boasted of his administration’s record on police reform but was followed around on the campaign trail both by protesters from the city’s largest police union and by hecklers demanding he fire the officers involved in the 2014 death of Eric Garner on Staten Island. The protests did not end after the Aug. 19 firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Garner in the chokehold that contributed to his death.

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