Congressman Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has ended his bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. In doing so, he became the first candidate to drop out with a very clear parting message besides simply acknowledging the futility of his own campaign.
Moulton, in an interview with the New York Times, declared that the primaries had essentially come down to “a three-way race between [former Vice President Joe] Biden, [Senator Elizabeth] Warren (D-Mass.), and [Senator Bernie] Sanders (D-Vt.),” adding that he now believes it to be “a debate about how far left the party should go.”
He pointed to Governor Steve Bullock (D-Mont.) as another example of a more moderate candidate, but declined to endorse any specific candidate left in the race, while also warning that the party “veering too far left” could hurt the nominee in the general election against President Donald Trump.
Moulton, an Iraq war veteran who served for seven years in the Marines, staked his campaign on foreign policy. While he aligned with some of the more far-left views of his fellow candidates on such matters as global warming, he was against Medicare for All in favor of simply improving Obamacare. He also came out against Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in her bid to become Speaker of the House again after the 2018 midterms.
Moulton was at the bottom of the Democratic field, failing to qualify for either of the first two Democratic debates. He was one of only three candidates to be excluded from the first debate, alongside Mayor of Miramar Wayne Messam (D-Fla.) and former Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska); these three failed to qualify for the second debate as well, alongside newcomers billionaire Tom Steyer (D-Calif.) and former Congressman Joe Sestak (D-Pa.).
Moulton was first elected to Congress from the 6th District in 2014, and currently serves on the Budget Committee and the Armed Services Committee. His more moderate approach stands in stark contrast to the rise of far-left progressive figures in his state, including Senator Warren and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).