Sen. Sherrod Brown says he isn’t running for president

Ohio Democrat says he will continue ‘calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism’

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after the Senate vote to reopen the government on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after the Senate vote to reopen the government on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted March 7, 2019 at 12:43pm

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown won’t be joining several of his Democratic Senate colleagues who are seeking the White House in 2020. 

“The best place for me to continue fighting for the people of Ohio and for the dignity of all workers across the country is in the U.S. Senate,” Brown said in a statement Thursday. “So, I will not run for President in 2020.”

The timing of his announcement was strange, coming roughly around the same time he was making an impassioned speech on the Senate floor against the nomination of Eric Earl Murphy to be a judge on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

[His father delivered Luke Perry. Now Sherrod Brown is mourning him]

“This was a decision that I am very comfortable with,” Brown said after his Thursday speech on the Senate floor. “It was the right decision. I will always do what I have done in this job for at least the next five-and-a-half years.”

Brown won re-election last year to the seat he has held since 2006.

In the past, he never had ambition to be president, but began seriously discussing the possibility at Christmas, Brown said.

“It was an attractive option to do this, and I thought there was an absolute path for me as a progressive Democrat,” he said.

In 2016, Brown was considered as a running mate to Hillary Clinton. Virginia’s Tim Kaine was ultimately named to the ticket.

Brown said he doesn’t think he wants to give up his Senate seat to be vice president this time around. But he did say he believes Ohio is still “in play” for a Democratic presidential candidate. 

Asked if he was ready to throw his support behind another candidate, he said he would be talking to all those running for the Democratic ticket before making a decision. 

“I’m not even close to endorsement,” he said.

‘Dignity of work’

An exploratory committee had been set up for Brown, whose name had long been discussed as a possible candidate for the presidency. 

Earlier this year, the Ohio Democrat took his message on the road to states with early presidential primaries as part of his “dignity of work” listening tour, making stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

In his statement, Brown said he was confident that message will remain a focus. 

“We’ve seen candidates begin taking up the dignity of work fight, and we have seen voters across the country demanding it — because dignity of work is a value that unites all of us. It is how we beat Trump, and it is how we should govern,” he said. 

Brown believes that adopting his “dignity of work” platform is the key to a Democrat winning the presidency. 

“The only prediction I’ll make is, I expect on Jan. 20 when Democrat X raises her or his right hand, that ‘dignity of work’ will be at least two or three paragraphs in the inaugural speech,” he said.

The Buckeye State senator said he will continue “calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism,” and will fight for workers across the U.S.

“I will do everything I can to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate in 2020,” Brown tweeted Thursday. “Believe me, we will fight.” 

Preview: A behind-the-scenes look at CQ’s 2018 Vote Studies

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