Former Attorney General Eric Holder announced in a Washington Post opinion-editorial Monday that he will not run for president in 2020.
“Though I will not run for president in 2020, I will continue to fight for the future of our country through the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and its affiliates,” Holder wrote. While the Obama-era official did not endorse any of the several Democrat presidential candidates, he did state there are many “good options.” He urged candidates to focus on addressing a litany of progressive issues, including climate change and immigration. Holder also called on Democrats to join together after the primary to ensure a Democrat beats President Trump in 2020.
“Inspired by our history as the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt, we must restructure our economy in a way that promises economic security for the middle class, creates genuine opportunities for upward mobility and attacks the income inequality of this new Gilded Age. And we can’t have a better economy for working people without a health-care system that guarantees universal coverage,” Holder continued. “We are running out of time to deal with the existential threat of climate change. It is a moral imperative that we mitigate the damage that is already happening, take wide-ranging steps to reduce carbon emissions, and commit to being a net-zero carbon emitter within 10 years. This is our generation’s moonshot.”
The announcement comes after Holder told reporters earlier February that he would soon make a decision on a White House bid. “I’m going to decide if I’m going to try to find that space within the next month or so,” he said after addressing a voting rights event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. “I’m going to sit down with my family very soon and decide whether or not this is something we’re going to seek.” Holder has teased a potential bid in the past, telling CBS’s The Late Show host Stephen Colbert in July 2018 that he would decide on running “sometime early next year.” Holder had met with former President Barack Obama to discuss a potential White House bid.
Had Holder entered the increasingly crowded Democrat presidential field, which now includes Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), the Obama-era official would have likely had to answer for several controversies which plagued his tenure as head of the Justice Department. Namely, in 2012, the House held Holder in criminal and civil contempt of Congress after failing to turn over subpoenaed documents to lawmakers as part of an investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed illegal gun sales in order to track the sellers and purchasers believed to be connected with Mexican drug cartels.
Holder, who was the third longest-serving attorney general, serves as chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, and has sued states over voting rights issues and legislative redistricting.