WASHINGTON -- Gov. Jay Inslee, who focused his presidential campaign on the threat of climate change, has ended his bid for the White House.
The Democrat made the announcement Wednesday during an interview on MSNBC.
"It's become clear that I'm not going to be carrying the ball," Inslee told cable host Rachel Maddow. "I'm not going to be the president, so I'm withdrawing tonight from the race."
His decision comes a week before the cutoff date to qualify for next month's Democratic primary debate in Houston.
Inslee, 68, has served as the governor of Washington since 2013. Previously, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995 and from 1999 to 2012. After a failed run for governor in 1996, he served as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton.
Inslee announced his candidacy in March, emphasizing the issue on which he staked his campaign: aggressive climate action.
“Our country’s next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time: defeating climate change,” Inslee said in his campaign announcement video. Inslee’s team released many detailed policy plans on his website, though they were framed primarily within the context of climate action.
The policies included a 100% Clean Energy for America Plan intended “to achieve 100% clean electricity, 100% zero-emission new vehicles, and 100% zero-carbon new buildings,” as well as a decade-long, $9 trillion “Evergreen Economy” plan focused on building a green economy, infrastructure, and manufacturing.
“We have to act now,” Inslee said during the second Democratic primary debate. “Look: climate change is not a singular issue, it is all the issues we Democrats care about — it is health, it is national security, it is our economy.”