Former Governor Tom Vilsack launched a campaign for president in November, and today announced the campaign is over. Vilsack, a Democrat, says his decision to get out of the campaign was dictated by one factor. money.
Vilsack says it is clear to him that he would not be able to raise the amounts of money to sustain a campaign across the country. Vilsack says he had to make a decision now before committing more resources to the effort.
Vilsack says he has a debt to work through and says now is the time that campaigns start ramping up he needed to let his staff find other jobs so they could land on their feet. Vilsack had been in fourth place in polls of democrat presidential candidates in the Iowa Caucuses. Vilsack says those polls were part of the reason he had trouble getting traction in raising funds.
Vilsack says it’s difficult to explain to people outside the state that he is not the prohibitive favorite in the caucuses, but Vilsack says that’s the way it is. Vilsack had raised $1 million in one fundraiser in Des Moines in December, then had trouble raising more funds.
“I came up against something for the first time in my life that hard work and effort couldn’t overcome,” Vilsack says. The two-term governor says he was able to overcome the odds in running for governor through hard work, but hard work and effort wasn’t enough this time. Vilsack says the campaign was not a failure as he learned a lot about this country and himself.
Vilsack says he’s proud of the campaign we ran and the ideas he put forward, and is particularly proud of his stance on Iraq. “It is a war that needs to end now. Not six months from now, not a year from now,” Vilsack says, “And I believe as a result of the strong stand that we’ve taken, that my hope and prayer is that this war does end sooner than later and the lives of American soldiers are saved.”
Vilsack sounded his underdog theme again when asked if he had any regrets. “No, this has been a great experience., ” Vilsack says, “I mean, look, when you start out life in an orphanage and you run for the president of the United States. That’s what this country is all about. No regrets at all.” Vilsack was asked if he will endorse another Democrat candidate, but said today is not the day to talk about endorsements.