Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee (D.) announced he's dropping out of the presidential race during an appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC Wednesday night. Inslee had made climate change the centerpiece of his campaign, but failed to gain enough traction with voters in early battleground states. He also did not look likely to qualify for CNN's climate town hall or the third presidential debate, both being held next month.
"We started saying climate change had to be the number one job in the United States. I felt good saying that the first days of my campaign. I feel very good saying that now," Inslee told Maddow. He stressed that he saw climate change as becoming more of an urgent issue to address.
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"It's become clear I'm not going to be carrying the ball, I'm not going to be the president, so I'm withdrawing tonight from the race."
"I've been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I've never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass to move the ball. I believe we are going to have a candidate to fight this battle. I'm inspired by the people I've met across the country, the young people in the sunrise movement, the climate strikers, these people give me confidence we can move ahead. I'm not going to be carrying the ball, but we're going to make sure somebody is."
Inslee was unlikely to qualify for CNN's climate town hall occurring on Sept. 4 despite the fact that he played a large role in pushing for the event. He was approaching the donor threshold, but was well below the required polling numbers. Ten candidates qualified for the climate town hall.
Inslee declined to endorse another candidate during the segment.