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Democrat Sherrod Brown isn't running for president

Sherrod Brown slams Trump's "phony populism"

Sen. Sherrod Brown isn't running for president, the Ohio Democrat announced in a statement Thursday. Brown had flirted with a possible presidential run in the months since he was re-elected to the Senate in November. 

"I will keep calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism. I will keep fighting for all workers across the country. And I will do everything I can to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate in 2020. The best place for me to make that fight is in the United States Senate," Brown said in a statement released by his campaign office.

Brown said he and his wife, journalist Connie Schultz, "have spent the last few months traveling around the country to make dignity of work a centerpiece of Democrats' 2020 campaign, and we are so grateful to everyone who has welcomed us into their communities and into their lives."

"We've seen candidates begin taking up the dignity of work fight, and we have seen voters across the country demanding it – because dignity of work is a value that unites all of us. It is how we beat Trump, and it is how we should govern. That's why I'm confident it will continue to be a focus for Democrats in 2020, and I plan on making sure that happens," Brown said.

Brown announced in November he was considering a presidential bid, then launched what he called a "Dignity Tour" of early primary states to promote his policy positions. 

Brown's announcement comes as former Vice President Joe Biden is in final preparations for a presidential bid and as several other contenders say they won't be running. The 2016 Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, told a New York television station that she will not run; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced he's taking a pass in a Washington Post op-ed; Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said he will run for reelection instead of seeking the White House; and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he won't run.  

Twelve Democrats have formally announced presidential campaigns so far, while two others have announced exploratory committees, and several others are still mulling whether to enter the contest.