Delaney denies report staff asked him to drop out of 2020 race

Delaney denies report staff asked him to drop out of 2020 race

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyPoll: Nearly 4 in 5 say they will consider candidates' stances on cybersecurity Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Head of flight attendants group claims 'broad support' for 'Medicare for All' among union members MORE (Md.) is denying a report that his campaign staff asked him to drop out of the Democratic presidential primary.

A report in Axios on Friday morning said Delaney’s senior team sat down with him on July 9 and told him to drop out of the race by mid-August.

The outlet also reported that Delaney, who was the first Democratic candidate to announce a campaign, 721 days ago, has spent $19 million on the campaign trail.  

ADVERTISEMENT

Delaney denied both the meeting and the report on his campaign spending in a statement Friday morning, saying the report was incorrect.

"No one on my team asked me to drop out of the race and I have no plans to drop out of the race. In addition, anyone who spent any time actually reading the FEC reports would see clearly that we did not spend $19 million on the campaign — we spent $9 million since we launched my Presidential campaign,” Delaney’s campaign said in the statement. 

Delaney's statement also said the Axios report included "a large interparty transfer" in making its calculation that his campaign had spent $19 million.

"This easy to confirm error puts the accuracy of the whole story in perspective,” the statement said.

Axios reported that Delaney’s staff accused him of flip-flopping on the issues, with one staffer allegedly saying, “Every other day he would have a different position.” It also said that Delaney’s staff felt he had “no breakout moment” during the first 2020 Democratic debates in Miami last month. 

The report also said Delaney seemed open to dropping out later in the summer after the second Democratic debates in Detroit later this month and that his wife, April, who is not officially employed by the campaign, is “basically running the thing.” 

Delaney has been polling between zero and 1 percent since 2017.

Axios updated the story following Delaney's comments, saying it was "unclear what 'large interparty transfer' Delaney is referencing" and that he "repaid a $9 million loan that he had previously made to his own campaign."

Axios declined to comment further to The Hill.

Updated at 10:13 a.m.