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Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington State and former congressman who made the fight against climate change the central point of his campaign, dropped out from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
He made the announcement late Wednesday during an appearance on the MSNBC program The Rachel Maddow Show.
“This show has been so good to me, this is sort of the book ends of my campaign. We started saying climate change had to be the No. 1 job in the United States. I felt good saying that the first days of my campaign. I feel very good saying that now,” Inslee said. “The reason is, this has become more urgent. A billion tons of ice melting in Greenland at the end of the day, we’ve also had so many people inspiring, who want us to act, who have helped me. A hundred thirty thousand people help me in this campaign. It’s become clear I’m not going to be carrying the ball, I’m not going to be president.
“I’ve been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I’ve never been so confident of the ability of Americans to move the ball. I believe we are going to have a candidate to fight this battle, and aspire to the people I’ve met across the country, the young people in the sunrise movement, the climate strikers, these people give me confidence I can move ahead,” he added.
Although he participated in the Democratic presidential debates thus far, Inslee never had gotten much major traction in the crowded field of some two dozen Democratic hopefuls.
Maddow praised Inslee’s climate plan, saying, “It’s more than a road map, it’s an atlas.”
Inslee declined to endorse any other Democratic candidate but said he would support the eventual nominee.
“I’m not endorsing a candidate tonight. I think a number of them have intriguing ideas, but we need all of them to raise their game,” he said. “Here’s the reason: You can argue with politicians but you can’t argue with science. The science is clear. When you have Siberia on fire, which it is today. You have heat waves, it’s 108 in Paris. When we landed in Miami for the debate you moderated, 40,000 acres of a swamp was on fire. We can’t argue with science, we’re going to ask all the candidates to raise their game, I’m going to help them, you’re going to help them, we’re going to beat Donald Trump and beat the climate crisis, I feel good about that.”
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