Delaney, longest-running Democratic candidate, ends 2020 bid

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Delaney, the longest-running Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race, is ending his campaign after pouring millions of his own money into an effort that failed to resonate with voters.

The announcement, made Friday morning, further winnowed down a primary field that had once stood at more than two dozen.

“At this moment in time, this is not the purpose God has for me," Delaney said, in an interview with CNN. “We’ve clearly shaped the debate in a very positive way."

The former Maryland congressman has been running for president since July 2017, though Delaney's early start did little to give him an advantage in the race or raise his name recognition with Democratic primary voters.

29 PHOTOS
John Delaney's 2020 presidential campaign
See Gallery
John Delaney's 2020 presidential campaign
Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks at the Brown & Black Forum at the Iowa Events Center, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks with members of the audience after speaking at a the Faith, Politics and the Common Good Forum at Franklin Jr. High School, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
A woman takes a selfie with Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney as he arrives to speak at the Faith, Politics and the Common Good Forum at Franklin Jr. High School, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney carries a stool to the stage for his wife April McClain-Delaney, as he arrives to speak at the Faith, Politics and the Common Good Forum at Franklin Jr. High School, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democratic presidential candidate former Rep. John Delaney, left, waits backstage before speaking at the Iowa Farmers Union Presidential Forum, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Democratic presidential candidates former Rep. John Delaney, left, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., talk backstage during the Iowa Farmers Union Presidential Forum, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Democratic presidential candidate former Rep. John Delaney waits to walk on stage during the Iowa Farmers Union Presidential Forum, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
From left, Democratic presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Vice President Joe Biden, businessman Tom Steyer, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., businessman Andrew Yang, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney stand onstage during a fundraiser for the Nevada Democratic Party, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Democratic presidential candidate former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., files to be listed on the ballot for the New Hampshire primary between New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, left, and his wife April Delaney, right, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Hunter Woodall)
Democratic presidential candidate former Rep. John Delaney speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Democratic presidential candidate former Rep. John Delaney speaks during an interview before the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Altoona, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
A campaign button for Democratic presidential candidate former Rep. John Delaney sits on a table as he is interviewed before the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Altoona, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks at the Climate Forum at Georgetown University in Washington. Delaney, the longest-running Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race, is ending his campaign after pouring millions of his own money into an effort that failed to resonate with voters. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks at the Climate Forum at Georgetown University, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Clear Lake, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Democratic presidential candidate former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, reacts as the end of his speech at the Des Moines Register Soapbox during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Democratic presidential candidate former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, speaks at the Des Moines Register Soapbox during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper watches as former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks during the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
From left, Marianne Williamson, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock take the stage for the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock participate in the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., speaks during the National Urban League Conference, Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Democratic presidential candidate former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., walks along the route ahead of supporters of Bernie Sanders during the Fourth of July Parade, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Amherst. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Democratic presidential candidate former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., shakes hands with potential supporters along the route during the Fourth of July Parade, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Amherst. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Democratic presidential candidates former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney talk at the end of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Celebration, Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Presidential candidate and former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., shakes hands as he arrives to a roundtable event on climate change, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., right, laughs during a roundtable discussion on climate change, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., rides down the giant slide during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., stands in a food vendors building during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

In a field dominated by well-known candidates from the liberal wing of the party, Delaney, 56, called for a moderate approach with “real solutions, not impossible promises,” and dubbed the progressive goal of “Medicare for All” to be “political suicide.”

Delaney last appeared on the Democratic debate stage in July 2019 but continued to campaign even as his presidential effort largely faded to gain traction. Delaney joins other candidates like Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper who unsuccessfully tried to woo moderate voters before ending their respective campaigns.

Campaign finance reports showed Delaney’s campaign was more than $10 million in debt largely because of loans Delaney made to his campaign. At the end of September, months after he had last been on a debate stage, the former lawmaker had just over $548,000 in cash on hand.

Before billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg entered the presidential race and used their substantial wealth to gain attention, Delaney tried a similar approach. Back in March, he promised to donate $2 to charity for every new donor who donated on his website. Then in October, Delaney dangled “two club-level” World Series tickets, with hotel and airfare included, as a prize for those that donated to his campaign.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts were frequent targets of Delaney as he warned during the July debate that the “free everything” policy approach would alienate independents and ensure President Donald Trump’s reelection. He compared the two senators to failed Democratic standard-bearers of the past, including George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

Delaney renewed that criticism on his way out of the race, saying the true hope for the party lay in moderates like former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

“People like Bernie Sanders who are running on throwing the whole U.S. economy out the window and starting from scratch…I just think that makes our job so much harder, in terms of beating Trump," Delaney said Friday morning. "I also think that’s not real governing. That’s not responsible leadership because those things aren’t going to happen.”

Despite the criticisms, Delaney pledged to “campaign incredibly hard” for whoever won the Democratic nomination.

___

Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”

Read Full Story