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de Blasio drops bid

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

Announcing his decision in an MSNBC interview, de Blasio did not throw his support behind any candidate but said he would support the eventual Democratic nominee "with energy."

"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!"

Trump added later that the 6-foot-5 mayor "only had one real asset. You know what it was? Height. Other than that, he had nothing going. "

De Blasio joins New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington Sen. Jay Inslee, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and California Rep. Eric Swallwell, who have all left the Democratic primary race.

The 58-year-old mayor launched his bid in May but his campaign largely failed to take off. He never achieved higher than 1% in 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."

He qualified for the first two rounds of debates but failed to make the September debate stage and appeared unlikely to qualify for the October debates.

De Blasio struggled to achieve the breakout moment he needed to stand out in the crowded Democratic field. 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 that 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. An activist interrupted de Blasio's Aug. 25 CNN town hall to demand that other officers who were also present during Garner's arrest be fired.



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