Local Government and Politics, News

Moulton quits the presidential race

Congressman Seth Moulton picked by Pelosi. (Owen O'Rourke)

SALEM  — Unable to get the traction needed to put him on a national stage with other Democratic contenders, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton ended his campaign for the White House. 

In a conference call with reporters Friday, the Salem Democrat explained ending his effort to win the White House. 

“The biggest thing is we got in late,” he said. “Who would have thought that getting in at the end of April, 10 months before voters go to the first primary and caucus, would be too late, but it certainly was. As you know, with (newborn) Emmy at home and (wife) Liz and I trying to figure out how to be first-time parents, it wasn’t an option to get in earlier.”  

Despite barely registering in national polls and with limited cash that excluded him from the Democratic debates, Moulton said he’s proud of what his team accomplished since his entrance into the race 16 weeks ago. 

“We elevated issues that were not part of the conversation including national security, mental health, and national service,” he said. “We’ve given voice to those issues for Americans across the country in a way that, I think, is healthy for our party, our democracy, and ultimately for beating Donald Trump … I also told my team if I didn’t see a path to the nomination, I wasn’t going to drag it out.”

While he called former Vice President Joe Biden a friend and mentor, he declined to endorse any of the Democratic candidates. Asked whether he has talked with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who finished third in a recent Suffolk University/Boston Globe survey of 500 likely voters in New Hampshire, he said several candidates have reached out to him, but not Warren.

In response to whether he is interested in being a vice presidential candidate, Moulton said: “It’s very flattering, but I’m running to be the congressman from the 6th District.”

Moulton entered the race offering what he called a “new generation of leadership.” He recently told The Item that sources who said he plans to exit the race by Labor Day were false. 

“It’s not true,” he said at the time. “It depends on how it goes, I don’t think the summer debates will determine who voters will support in February.”

Still, there are plenty of Democrats to choose from. In addition to Biden and Warren, 19 others remain, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., Julián Castro a former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, John Delaney, a former Maryland congressman, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris from California, Sen. Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Fla., Beto O’Rourke, former U.S. representative from Texas, U.S. Rep Tim Ryan from Ohio, Joseph Sestak, a former Pennsylvania congressman, Thomas Steyer, founder of Farallon Capital Management, author Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang, a New York entrepreneur.

Moulton’s withdrawal did not go unnoticed by President Donald Trump. 

“The Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race!” the president tweeted.

Analysts said U.S. stocks and Treasury yields sank Friday as a result of Trump’s  remarks that American companies are “hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.” 

The escalting trade war with China sent markets reeling after the president issued a series of threats to China on Twitter, hours after China announced new tariffs on U.S. products and sent markets slipping, according to Barron’s, a financial newspaper published by Dow Jones & Co.



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