Bar too high, says De Blasio after dropping presidential bid

De Blasio launched his candidacy in May with the central campaign message ‘Working People First’. (Reuters pic)

NEW YORK: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said during an MSNBC television appearance that he is dropping out of the 2020 presidential campaign.

De Blasio, 58, launched his candidacy in May with the central campaign message “Working People First”, becoming at the time the 24th Democrat to attempt to take on President Donald Trump in next year’s election.

The mayor, who is barred from seeking a third four-year term in New York in 2021, has struggled to build a national profile, eclipsed by progressive US senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

De Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that a “central reason” for his decision was the party’s rules for qualifying for televised debates.

De Blasio had failed to qualify for a Sept 12 debate that featured the 10 leading candidates for the party’s nomination.

“The bar is so high so early that for a lot of us — clearly, some of my fellow chief executives, governors — couldn’t make that cut,” de Blasio said.

“It’s clear to me it’s a high bar, and that it’s one I’m not going to be able to meet.”