Bill de Blasio: New York mayor quits 2020 Democratic race, prompting sarcastic Trump tweet

Phil Thomas
New York mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at the New Hampshire Democratic state convention in Manchester, New Hampshire: REUTERS

Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, has dropped out of the race to become the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate - and leaves the campaign with a scornful message from the current president ringing in his ears.

Mr de Blasio made his announcement in a television interview, saying: “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 and for a Democratic party that stands for working people.”

The 58-year-old’s campaign struggled to gain any momentum in a crowded field of Democrats.

He failed to rate higher than 1% in national polls, fell short of qualifying for the third debate and was ridiculed in the press, with one Washington Post headline claiming his campaign had “burned down, fallen over and sunk into a swamp”.

Mr de Blasio’s exit was not lost on his fellow native New Yorker and the current inhabitant of the White House.

His sarcasm was a far cry from his comments last week when he surprised reporters by telling them he respected all the Democratic candidates. He said: “I respect every one.

“Let me tell you, it takes a lot of courage to run for office. I respect all of them. See that? I’m getting much better as a politician. You never thought you’d hear that answer.”

Mr Trump and Mr de Blasio had clashed before, The mayor said of the president: “He’s a con artist. I know his tricks. I know his playbook.”

During his campaign Mr de Blasio was dogged by controversy over police involvement in the death of Eric Garner, who died after being held in a chokehold by a police officer.
Elizabeth Warren at Washington Square Park

He had launched his campaign for the White House at the Statue of Liberty, where he said that the United States had an “identity crisis” over immigration, which he said was “the founding and unifying element of the American experience”.

The latest Real Clear Politics polling has Joe Biden ahead in the Democratic race on 29 points, followed by Bernie Sanders on 18 and Elizabeth Warren on 16.

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