(CN) — Saying, “It’s clearly not my time,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday quit the race for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.
“Getting out there, being able to hear people’s concerns, address them with new ideas, it’s been an extraordinary experience,” de Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show. “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 2020 campaign, continue my work as mayor of New York City and I’m going to continue speaking up for working people.”
De Blasio said one reason he was abandoning his campaign was the format of the Democratic debates. Continuing to qualify for a position would not be possible for him, he said.
“It’s clear to me that’s a high bar and it’s one that I’m not going to be able to meet and I think that’s the central reason,” De Blasio said.
De Blasio polled at less than 1% with New York registered voters this month, according to a Siena College Research Institute poll. More than half of those registered voters had an “unfavorable opinion” toward de Blasio in the poll. The numbers kept him sidelined in the third Democratic debate, in Houston last week.
De Blasio on Friday tweeted a link to an NBC article he wrote, explaining his reasons for ending his campaign. He called for Democrats to “return to our roots” as a party by focusing on solutions for working Americans.
“If we do not, we will lose in 2020. Yes, Donald Trump lies to working people, but he at least pretends to talk to them,” de Blasio 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.”
De Blasio also doubled down on his promise to continue campaigning for working-class New Yorkers and said he would continue his efforts to bring guaranteed time off to “everyday New Yorkers.”
“I’m going to continue implementing universal health care and a Green New Deal in the nation’s largest city. And I promise I’ll fight for New Yorkers and workers everywhere to ensure there’s an actual plan to protect their livelihoods from being automated out of existence,” de Blasio said.
President Trump tweeted Friday that de Blasio’s announcement was “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!” Trump tweeted.