Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) told staffers and supporters Tuesday that she is officially dropping her bid for President.
In an email statement to her supporters, she pointed to her depleted campaign coffers and took a swipe at billionaire candidate Tom Steyer.
“I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” she wrote. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”
“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign,” she continued. “And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”
She said that though she is suspending her campaign, she will continue to try to “defeat Donald Trump” and bring about a more just vision of America.
The timing tracks with a major date looming on the primary calendar: the deadline for a candidate to remove himself or herself from the ballot in California is December 26. Faced with lagging momentum, Harris had to contend with the likelihood of losing her home state, a big embarrassment for one of its senators.
Harris entered the field as a promising candidate, and quickly propelled herself to the front of the pack with a particularly strong first debate performance. In that debate, she went after former Vice President Joe Biden’s position on civil rights, particularly busing, in a tense standoff that became the most circulated exchange from the night.
But she struggled to maintain the momentum, leapfrogging from message to message and failing to figure out how to successfully frame her career as a prosecutor.
Her campaign was also rife with infighting and splintering that got worse as time wore on. Her bases were split between Baltimore and San Francisco, and her staffers split between campaign manager Juan Rodriguez and campaign chairwoman Maya Harris, the senator’s sister.
Harris herself seemed sidelined toward the end, as the New York Times reported that she called Rodriguez in a fury after only finding out how extensive Iowa staffer layoffs were after they happened.
Harris was the only non-white candidate who had so far qualified for the next Democratic debate on December 19. The crowd has now shrunk to Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), billionaire Tom Steyer, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
Harris’ Democratic competitors reacted quickly to the news.
Via a Politico reporter:
Reporters informed Joe Biden after an event that @KamalaHarris was suspending her campaign. Biden returned to the scrum: “She’s a first-rate candidate and a real competitor and I have mixed emotions about it because she is really a solid, solid person and loaded with talent.”
— Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) December 3, 2019
.@KamalaHarris has spent her career advocating for the voiceless and the vulnerable. I am grateful for her leadership and the courage she brings to the Senate and the national debate. I know she will continue to fight fearlessly on behalf of the American people—and our democracy. https://t.co/63Y6vryasv
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) December 3, 2019
I’m so thankful for @KamalaHarris’s friendship and candidacy in this race.
As a child of immigrants, she’s been a lifelong fighter for opportunity and justice for all Americans, and I’m glad she’ll keep fighting for an America where everyone counts. pic.twitter.com/09XFGYG7BD
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) December 3, 2019
.@KamalaHarris is one of the truly great leaders in the Democratic Party. Her campaign slogan “For the People” perfectly embodies what public service is all about. April and I very much enjoyed the opportunity to get to know @KamalaHarris and @douglasemhoff on the trail.
— John Delaney (@JohnDelaney) December 3, 2019