SCRANTON, Pa. -- U.S. Senator Bob Casey now says he has decided against running for president.
Sen. Casey, a Democrat and Scranton native, told Newswatch 16 in November he was thinking about a presidential bid.
Casey's office released the following statement:
"With so much at stake for our nation, 2020 will be the most important Presidential election of the modern era. The middle class and those struggling to climb another rung on the ladder into the middle-class have never had more burdens. The Trump Administration and Washington Republicans have stacked the deck against them by undermining health care protections, rigging the tax code for the wealthiest and corporate interests and ignoring the high costs of childcare, prescription drugs, and college tuition. Extremist Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate have strongly supported federal budget proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher program and decimate Medicaid, threatening care for our children, seniors, and people with disabilities.
"This corporate agenda threatens the very foundation of the American Dream. Both parties should work together to lift the burdens outlined above that middle-class families carry every day, provide a tax cut for the middle-class and raise the minimum wage. These measures would lift take-home pay for tens of millions of Americans. Our great nation can ensure that all Americans have a fair shot in our economy while tackling the existential crisis of climate change. Our moral obligation to be good stewards of the earth can be met while our workers and businesses thrive.
"Both parties must also come together to enhance our national security and rebuild our alliances, which have been shaken by President Trump’s dangerous fascination with Vladimir Putin and despots around the world. The resignation of Defense Secretary Mattis was a terrible blow to our security and to our standing in the world. The President’s impulsive, erratic approach to foreign policy makes us less safe and creates uncertainty in a world where allies need the certainty that can only come from U.S. leadership.
"Our workers and families deserve a government that is on their side, and a government that affirms their dignity, their worth and how their individual stories are part of the fabric of what it means to be an American. President Trump does not embrace this vision of America. In fact, he has done everything he can to tear down the values that have always made America great. His Administration has worked to undermine hard-won civil rights protections while the President spends his time trying to pit Americans against one another by race or creed. His vision is an America of “blood and soil,” not the nation of ‘out of many, one’ that our founding ideals set forth.
"With all of these challenges confronting us and with our Commonwealth playing a potentially decisive role in the 2020 vote, I believed it was important for me to at least consider the monumental undertaking of running for President. After two months of considering it, I have concluded that the best way for me to fight for the America that so many of us believe in is to stay in the U.S. Senate and not run for the presidency in 2020.
"During my time in office, I have passed into law measures that advance the cause of those with disabilities and improve the lives of children. I want to build on those measures and continue to be a U.S Senator who fights for all families. Pennsylvania workers need a Senator who will always fight for their economic livelihoods, and our children and seniors need a Senator who puts their needs first. I will also continue to fight for the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act: full participation, independent living, equal opportunity and economic self-sufficiency.
"2020 is not the time for me to run for President, but it is the right time for me to continue to fight the battles I have fought as U.S. Senator and state official. I have no doubt that our Democratic Party will nominate a candidate who can win Pennsylvania and the Presidency.
"The people of Pennsylvania have given me the privilege of being the first Democrat, and one of only five Senators in more than 100 years, to be elected to a third term. I am grateful for the honor of serving the people of our Commonwealth in the years ahead and to continue my work on their behalf.”