Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney is shooting down a report that members of his campaign asked him to end his long-shot bid for the White House.
In an interview Friday with Fox News and in a statement, the former three-term congressman from Maryland emphasized that he had “no plans to drop out of the race.”
But Delaney did tell Fox News that if he doesn’t make the stage for either the third or fourth rounds of presidential primary debates in September or October, it makes continuing his campaign “more challenging.”
Axios reported early Friday morning that “on July 9, John Delaney's senior team sat him down and told him to drop out of the presidential race by mid-August, according to three sources close to the campaign.”
Delaney told Fox News that meeting never took place and that he was in New York on July 9.
Axios also reported that Delaney had spent nearly $19 million on his White House bid since declaring his candidacy in July of 2017, just six months into President Trump’s tenure in the White House.
Delaney said he’s only spent $9 million on his campaign.
The candidate, who grew up in a working-class family and went on to start two companies and become the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange, has an estimated net worth of more than $200 million. He is mostly self-financing his presidential campaign.
Delaney emphasized that he’s “nowhere near the point where I’m concerned about the amount of money” he’s infusing into his White House bid.
And to demonstrate his intention to continue marching on, Delaney said “last week we bought an RV. It’s being wrapped as we speak. And new commercials are being filmed at the end of this week. That tells you where my head is. “
Delaney’s campaign also announced on Friday that the candidate will “barnstorm” through Iowa starting Aug. 4, with some 30 events over six days, including attending the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding and stopping by the “world-famous” Iowa State Fair.
Delaney’s already qualified for the second round of presidential debates, being held July 30-31 in Detroit.
But making the following rounds gets much tougher for Delaney and many of the other lower-tier candidates. The Democratic National Committee has raised the thresholds for those showdowns. To make the stage, the contenders must reach 2 percent in four qualifying polls and reach contributions from 130,000 individual donors.
Asked if he can hit those criteria, Delaney said “I think I can make it. To be honest with you, I have to make either the third or the fourth."
But if he doesn’t make either round of debates, Delaney acknowledged“that makes it more challenging but the chances of making the fourth are much better than making the third. I think we can make the third but making the fourth gives me a whole other month.”