Now playing
01:45
Inslee explains why he called Trump a white nationalist
Now playing
02:41
Loyal Texas Trump voters want Biden to be less divisive
Now playing
01:33
Chuck Schumer announces timeline for Trump impeachment
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: U.S. President Joe Biden signs an executive order as Vice President Kamala Harris looks on during an event on economic crisis in the State Dining Room of the White House January 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden spoke on his administration
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: U.S. President Joe Biden signs an executive order as Vice President Kamala Harris looks on during an event on economic crisis in the State Dining Room of the White House January 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden spoke on his administration's response to the economic crisis that caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and signed two executive orders. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
02:31
Biden zeroes in on the teetering economy in first week
White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett speaks with reporters at the White House, Friday, June 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett speaks with reporters at the White House, Friday, June 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
PHOTO: Alex Brandon/AP
Now playing
05:08
Ex-Trump official who supports Biden stimulus plan speaks out
Dick Durbin 0122
Dick Durbin 0122
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:41
Sen. Durbin: We can't pass anything without bipartisanship
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND - JANUARY 20: President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews before boarding Air Force One for his last time as President on January 20, 2021 in Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Trump, the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend his successor
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND - JANUARY 20: President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews before boarding Air Force One for his last time as President on January 20, 2021 in Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Trump, the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend his successor's inauguration, is expected to spend the final minutes of his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (Photo by Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Pete Marovich/Pool/Getty Images
Now playing
04:20
Former top administration officials lobby to convict Trump
Guard Soldiers were ordered to move from the cafeteria to the parking garage
Guard Soldiers were ordered to move from the cafeteria to the parking garage
PHOTO: Obtained by CNN
Now playing
01:42
Photos show National Guard confined to parking garage
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cpt 0121
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cpt 0121
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:42
Ocasio-Cortez: We still don't feel safe around other members of Congress
mccarthy
mccarthy
Now playing
04:18
McCarthy contradicts himself on Trump's role in insurrection
Now playing
06:30
'Do you feel you were duped?': Burnett presses GOP lawmaker
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during her first press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during her first press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
Now playing
01:48
WH press secretary vows transparency and honesty on first day
Now playing
02:30
Pences share a laugh with Vice President Harris and her husband
Now playing
01:12
Kamala Harris sworn in as Vice President
President Donald Trump speaks at Joint Base Andrew on Wednesday, January 20.
President Donald Trump speaks at Joint Base Andrew on Wednesday, January 20.
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:00
See Trump's final message as President as his family looks on
(CNN) —  

Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced he is suspending his presidential campaign.

“It’s become clear I’m not going to be carrying the ball – I’m not going to be president, so I’m withdrawing tonight from the race,” Inslee told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “But I have to tell you, look, I’ve been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I’ve never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass to move the ball.”

The Washingtonian made combating climate change the fundamental issue motivating his campaign, routinely telling reporters that the climate crisis affects “every issue” facing the country. With that in mind, he released a series of plans that tied the issue to everything from foreign policy to the economy to labor laws.

Though Inslee failed to gain traction in the race to take on President Donald Trump, he plans to seek a third term as Washington governor, a source familiar with his thinking told CNN.

Inslee plans to announce his reelection campaign on Thursday in an email to supporters, the source said.

While Inslee did recently reach the donor threshold to qualify for the third Democratic national debate, he had yet to reach the polling threshold and was therefore unlikely to qualify.

In an email to supporters outlining his exit Wednesday, he touted the increase in climate-based policy proposals from other Democratic candidates as rooted in his campaign’s “gold standard.”

“Many of the campaigns started with little attention to climate, but since our campaign began, we’ve seen almost every serious candidate put out a climate plan; we’ve seen climate come up in both debates; and we now have two networks hosting nationally-televised climate forums in September,” he said. “Most importantly, we have introduced a detailed and comprehensive policy blueprint for bold climate action and transformation to a clean energy economy. We will fight to ensure this gold standard of climate action is adopted and executed by our party and our next president.”

Assessing the other Democratic candidates Wednesday night, Inslee said that “every single one of them is 100% better than the current occupant, no question about that.”

“I’m not endorsing a candidate tonight. I think a number of them have intriguing ideas, but we need all of them to raise their game,” he added.

Inslee was on the trail until the final days of his campaign. The governor released his sixth climate change policy proposal on Wednesday, a plan that tied combating the issue to agricultural policy.

Inslee was scheduled to be in New Hampshire on Thursday for a presidential candidate forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

Inslee did qualify for the first two Democratic debates, turning in performances in which he looked to steer the conversation towards combating climate change as often as possible. Inslee also publicly called for the Democratic National Committee to host a debate entirely focused on climate change, knocking the committee for rebuffing his demands.

“Climate change is not a singular issue, it is all the issues that we Democrats care about,” he said at the second set of Democratic debates. “It is health. It is national security. It is our economy.”

The governor will now return to Washington state, where he is in his second term. Inslee won reelection in 2016 by nearly 10 percentage points and is eligible to run for reelection in 2020.

While Inslee made climate change a singular focus, he was not alone in talking about the issue on the campaign trail.

Democratic candidates are often asked about the climate crisis, a signal that the issue is top of mind for active Democratic voters. And a CNN poll earlier this year found that 82% of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents find climate change a “very important” issue, ranking it at the top of the list ahead of universal health care, tighter gun laws and impeaching Trump.

“We’ve done something else, I think: We’ve given people hope,” Inslee said Wednesday. “The grassroots has responded to this message.”

“I don’t think there’s any question that we have had success moving the needle,” he said. “And so I think this is a positive experience.”

This story has been updated.