New details have emerged since Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) withdrew her bid from the 2020 Democratic presidential primary Wednesday.
According to a Politico report Thursday, people from inside the Gillibrand campaign acknowledged that being the first Democratic senator to call for the resignation of former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) last year over sexual misconduct allegations most likely played into the challenges she faced during her campaign, especially when it came to fundraising. Franken has said he “absolutely” regrets resigning.
A Gillibrand aide familiar with her campaign accounting, which started out as a $10 million campaign war chest, told Politico that it had dwindled to about $800,000.
By the time the polls were released Wednesday, the deadline to qualify for next month’s presidential debate, Politico reported that Gillibrand had already filmed a dropout video that morning and delivered the news to her staff at headquarters by mid-afternoon.
“Franken was definitely a problem in terms of fundraising,” a person familiar with the Gillibrand campaign told Politico. “He just kept coming up, over and over again.”
Jen Palmieri, Hillary Clinton’s former communications director, shared a similar sentiment on there being “no question” that the Franken resignation had a “huge, outsized impact” on Gillibrand’s campaign.
“The sub-current of her entire candidacy was the Franken resignation, and people unfairly pinning that on her,” Palmieri told Politico. “It’s a crowded field, and it’s hard for all the candidates, but that really hampered her.”
Read Politico’s report here.