Former congressman John Delaney has dropped out of the presidential race just 3 days before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus.
“lt has been a privilege to campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, but it is clear that God has a different purpose for me at this moment in time,” Delaney wrote on Twitter Friday morning.
Delaney served as the U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District from 2013 to 2019. In July 2017, he became the first Democrat to announce that he was running for president in 2020, doing so in a Washington Post op-ed.
But despite campaigning heavily in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Delaney failed to pick up considerable support, and missed the cut off for the several of the recent Democratic debates.
By August 2018, he had visited all of Iowa’s 99 counties and spent about $1.5 million on television ads in the state, before candidates with better name recognition had even announced their campaigns.
“I believe our campaign was unique in its consistent focus on these four themes. Our economic, environmental and technological future is dependent upon the choices we make and the actions we take,” Delaney wrote on Twitter Friday. “For too long we have made bad choices and failed to act; we must change course.”
In early July 2019, Axios reported that John Delaney’s senior team asked him to drop out of the presidential race by mid-August, a claim that Delaney’s campaign disputed.
Delaney was a former businessman known for his moderate politics and emphasis on bipartisanship during his time in Congress, describing himself as “probably the most moderate candidate in this field.”
In an interview with ABC’sThis Weekin June, Delaney pledged to “only to do bipartisan proposals” in his first 100 days in office if he were elected president. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if a president looked at the American people at the inauguration and said, ‘I represent every one of you, whether you voted for me or not and this is how I’m going to prove it,’” he said.
In June, the crowd at the California Democratic Convention booed Delaney when he criticized Medicare for All.
“’Medicare for All’ may sound good, but it’s actually not good policy, nor is it good politics,” he said to the audience.
At the August Democratic debate, Delaney was part of one of the night’s defining viral moments — albeit one that came at his expense — by challenging Sen. Elizabeth Warren on her idealism.
“Democrats win when we run on real solutions, not impossible promises,” he said, “when we run on things that are workable, not fairy tale economics.” He added that Detroit, where the debate was held, was “turning around because the government and the private sector [was] working well together. That has to be our model going forward.”
“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” Warren shot back. “I don’t get it.”
The audience applauded and cheered, and the exchange won online traction for Warren and made Delaney the subject of numerous Twitter jokes.
“I don’t understand why anyone goes through the trouble of running for President if they either can’t explain how their plans work or can’t honestly debate their ideas without reverting to accusing people who disagree with them of reciting Republican talking points,” he wrote on Twitter almost 24 hours later, to even more online derision.