Greg Nash

Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney (D) dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary on Friday, just days before Monday’s Iowa caucuses. 

“I’m announcing this morning that I’m withdrawing from the 2020 race,” Delaney said on CNN’s “New Day.” 

“I’ve campaigned harder than anyone in Iowa through all 99 counties. I’ve done hundreds of events across this great state, but it’s clear to me on Monday, on caucus night, I will not have sufficient support to get to the 15 percent viability threshold,” he continued. 

Delaney added that his support was strong enough to peel away votes from other moderate candidates. 

“I just don’t want to do that, because I think we need a candidate that’s running in the center,” he said. 

Delaney said he was not endorsing in the race yet but said a number of candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) fit his criteria for a moderate candidate who could unite the country.

“It’s clear to me that to have the best chance of beating Donald Trump, which is the most important thing for our party at this moment in time, and to actually be able to govern … we need someone with that type of orientation,” he said.

“I think we’ve clearly shaped the debate in a very positive way,” he said.

Delaney said that he would support whoever wins the Democratic nomination, but cautioned that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) progressive platform did not show “responsible leadership.”

“People like Bernie Sanders who are running on throwing the whole U.S. economy out the window and starting from scratch, he’s running on taking private health insurance away from 180 million Americans, I just think that makes our job so much harder, in terms of beating Donald Trump,” he said.

The former congressman regularly hit Sanders, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), during the campaign, targeting them for their progressive economic and health care platforms. 

Delaney was the first candidate to jump into the 2020 Democratic primary, launching his campaign in 2017. He spent the bulk of his time and resources campaigning in Iowa. 

However, Delaney, who largely self-funded his campaign, was never able to break out of the race’s lower tier. 

He qualified for the first two primary debates in June and July but did not make the following forums. 

A Morning Consult poll released last month showed Delaney polling at 1 percent. 

Updated at 8:30 a.m.

Tags 2020 Democrats Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Delaney campaign Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Iowa Joe Biden John Delaney Pete Buttigieg

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