2020-01-13 16:53:35 UTC
Cory Booker drops out: 'I've made the hard decision to suspend my campaign for president'
Hunter Walker White House Correspondent
•January 13, 2020
WASHINGTON — Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is suspending his presidential campaign, he announced in an email to supporters on Monday. Booker said multiple factors had contributed to his conclusion that he had no chance to win the Democratic nomination.
“It was a difficult decision to make, but I got in this race to win, and I’ve always said I wouldn’t continue if there was no longer a path to victory,” Booker wrote. “Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win — money we don’t have, and money that is harder to raise because I won’t be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington.”
Booker is the first candidate to leave the race who specifically cited the impending impeachment trial as an issue. In recent weeks, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held back the articles of impeachment from the Senate, delaying the start of the trial, it has become apparent that the senators in the Democratic race would be handicapped by the need to attend the proceedings in Washington during the crucial final days of campaigning before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3.
Like some of the other candidates, Booker faced hurdles imposed by the Democratic National Committee’s debate qualification rules, which set minimum requirements for polling and fundraising. He was not onstage for the most recent debate in December and did not qualify for the one on Tuesday evening in Iowa. Booker’s departure leaves just three candidates of color in the Democratic field, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and businessman Andrew Yang.
Booker came into the race with a high profile and was widely expected to be a leading candidate. As the former mayor of Newark, N.J., Booker earned national attention for hands-on heroics that were amplified by his pioneering use of social media. He was elected to the Senate in 2013 and described his role as a civil rights activist in the halls of Congress. He has focused on issues of “justice” including economic inequality, disparate environmental conditions in poorer parts of the country, and criminal justice reform. Booker was a prominent supporter of the bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation that was signed into law in late 2018.