Elizabeth Warren suspended her presidential campaign Thursday after failing to win any states on Super Tuesday and seeing no path to capture the Democratic nomination.
She declined to throw her weight behind fellow progressive Bernie Sanders or the more centrist and newly resurgent front-runner Joe Biden, telling reporters she wanted more time to consider her choice.
“I want to take a little time to think a little more,” she said.
Warren said she believed she could be a bridge between the progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic Party, but the election results showed that was not the case.
“In this campaign, we have been willing to fight, and, when necessary, we left plenty of blood and teeth on the floor. And I can think of one billionaire who has been denied the chance to buy this election.”– Elizabeth Warren
“I was told at the beginning of this whole undertaking that there were two lanes, the progressive lane that Bernie Sanders is the incumbent for, and the moderate lane that Joe Biden is the incumbent for, and there’s no room for anyone else in this. I didn’t think that was right — but evidently I was wrong,” she said.
Warren made her announcement in the same place she kicked off her campaign — outside her house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As she walked out her front door, the crowd outside cheered “we love you” and “thank you.” She was accompanied by her husband, Bruce, and her dog, Bailey.
Warren was asked about whether she thought gender played a role in her failed campaign, which she called a “trap question” for women.
“If you say, ‘Yeah, there was sexism in this race everyone says, ‘Whiner!’” Warren said when asked about whether her gender played a role in the race. “And if you say, ‘No, there was no sexism’ about a bazillion women think: ‘What planet do you live on?’” she added.
“All those little girls are going to have to wait four more years,” she said of those who were inspired by the thought of the first female president. “That’s going to be hard,” she said.
The Massachusetts senator never placed higher than third in any primary contest. Her detailed policy proposals proved insufficient to build support from the broad, racially diverse base needed to unite the party.
Even as she was losing the first few contests, Warren was delivering strong debate performances that damaged Michael Bloomberg, who ended his nomination quest on Wednesday.
In a call with supporters on Thursday, she seemed to take credit for taking the former New York City mayor out of the race.
“In this campaign, we have been willing to fight, and, when necessary, we left plenty of blood and teeth on the floor. And I can think of one billionaire who has been denied the chance to buy this election,” she said.
Throughout the campaign, her “I have a plan for that” pitch was insufficient to overcome voters’ doubts about her ability to beat Donald Trump. She found herself squeezed between a progressive electorate that increasingly favoured Sanders and moderates who saw her as too far left to bring in the swing-state voters a Democratic nominee will need in the fall.
Her withdrawal is a dramatic reversal for a candidate who had been tied with Biden for first place in October 2019. But in recent months, she was bumped out of the top as Bloomberg ramped up his campaign and Sanders took the lead.
Warren, who entered the race in late 2018, became known for her aggressive criticisms of Wall Street and Washington, her plans to tax wealth and her push to regulate large corporations, which she often said were cheating ordinary people.
“When you see a government that works great for those with money and it’s not working so well for everyone else, that is corruption, pure and simple, and we need to call it out for what it is,” she said at a January rally in Oklahoma City.
While she described herself as a “capitalist in my bones,” the strength of her left-leaning campaign alarmed Wall Street and prompted warnings from billionaires and corporate executives that she intended to tear down the system. She also was a frequent target of Trump, who gave her the nickname “Pocohantas,” a reference to her claim of Native American ancestry that she later recanted and offered an apology.
Warren developed more policy proposals than any of her rivals, rolling out about 80 plans with a total price tag of $30 trillion. Her best-known proposal — for a wealth tax — called for a two per cent levy on America’s richest families, which she said would raise $2.75 trillion over a decade to pay for sweeping proposals for universal health care and cancelling student debt.