Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Seth Moulton drops out of 2020 race

Moulton is a combat veteran who spoke openly of his post-traumatic stress.

August 23, 2019, 9:42 AM

Combat veteran Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., who wanted to add “president” to his long list of accomplishments -- four tours of duty in Iraq, three Harvard degrees, four years in the U.S. Congress -- announced on Friday that he's dropping out of the 2020 presidential race.

Struggling to meet the Democratic National Committee's requirements, Moulton missed both the first and second Democratic presidential debates and isn’t expected to meet the threshold for the third debate next month hosted by ABC News in partnership with Univision.

Representative Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts and 2020 presidential candidate, speaks during a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

During his speech Friday at the DNC's summer meeting in San Francisco, Moulton is expected to tell the committee, "Though this campaign is not ending the way we hoped, I am leaving this race knowing that we raised issues that are vitally important to the American people and our future."

"For the first time in my life, I talked publicly about dealing with post-traumatic stress from my four combat tours in Iraq," he continues, according to prepared remarks from his campaign.

In June, Moulton told ABC News he wasn’t worried about making the debates because he was seeing momentum on the ground and didn’t think meeting the DNC’s donor metrics was “a good use of resources.”

Democratic presidential candidate Congressman Seth Moulton at the first event of his presidential campaign at Liberty House, a home for homeless veterans in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Rick Friedman/Polaris/Newscom

During his 123-day presidential bid, Moulton campaigned in nine states where he held at least 56 events and focused mostly on national security, national service and mental health.

The Bronze Star recipient brought an unmatched passion for service to the 2020 presidential race by continuously hosting veteran and military themed events: roundtables with JROTC students, military family groups, town halls with veterans, American Legion and VFW visits and most recently, Moulton visited the Veterans Community Project, a Kansas City based nonprofit that builds tiny houses for homeless veterans.

Opening up about his own experience with PTS (post-traumatic stress), Moulton launched a “Veterans Mental Health” tour and released a mental health plan that advocated for a national mental health hotline, routine mental health check-ups for active duty military personnel and veterans, and called for funding for yearly mental health screenings for high schoolers.

Moulton also used these past four months, in part, to repeatedly point out President Trump’s lack of military experience, with the most recent comment being at the Iowa State Fair last week when a fairgoer yelled “Go Trump!” and the Marine replied “If you want a draft dodger, he’s your guy.”

So what's next for Seth Moulton? The congressman is expected to run for reelection in Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District and to relaunch his PAC, Serve America, which helped elected 21 new Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.

"While this is the end of my campaign, it is certainly not the end of our efforts," he will say this afternoon. "I will once again be running for Congress in the 6th District of Massachusetts, my home, and I can’t wait to get back at it."