Pete Buttigieg Calls For Democratic Unity In Campaign-Ending Speech
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced Sunday night that he was suspending his presidential campaign ahead of Super Tuesday. He did not endorse another candidate, but instead focused his attention on unifying the Democratic party.
“Our goal has always been to unify Americans to defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values,” Buttigieg said in South Bend. “So we must recognize that at this point in the race the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and to help bring our party and our country together.”
He said the next president should bring “a broad-based agenda,” and “not one that gets lost in ideology,” seemingly indicating Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) with whom he clashed with in the last few weeks of his campaign.
Buttigieg’s exit coincides with Sanders’ rise, and moderate Democrats grappling with the prospect of a socialist-leaning nominee.
“We need leadership to heal a divided nation, not to drive us apart,” he said. “We need a broad-based agenda that can truly deliver for the American people, not one that gets lost in ideology,” Buttigieg said. “We need an approach not only strong enough to win the White House, but to hold the House, win the Senate and send Mitch McConnell into retirement.”
He finished by saying, “I will no longer seek to be the 2020 nominee for president, but I will do everything in my power to make sure we have a new Democratic president come January.”
Trump alleged on Twitter that Buttigieg’s departure was aimed to benefit former Vice President Joe Biden‘s campaign.
“Pete Buttigieg is OUT. All of his SuperTuesday votes will go to Sleepy Joe Biden. Great timing,” Twump tweeted. “This is the REAL beginning of the Dems taking Bernie out of play – NO NOMINATION, AGAIN!”
Pete Buttigieg is OUT. All of his SuperTuesday votes will go to Sleepy Joe Biden. Great timing. This is the REAL beginning of the Dems taking Bernie out of play – NO NOMINATION, AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2020
Sanders did not call foul play, instead congratulating his former opponent on a well-run campaign.
“I want to congratulate [Pete Buttigieg] for running a strong and historic campaign, and to welcome all of his supporters into our movement. I urge them to join us in the fight for real change in this country.
I want to congratulate @PeteButtigieg for running a strong and historic campaign, and to welcome all of his supporters into our movement. I urge them to join us in the fight for real change in this country.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 2, 2020
Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) all joined Sanders in congratulating the 38-year-old for running a grassroots campaign that garnered national attention.
Biden called his campaign “historic, and trail-blazing.” Klobuchar called it “historic and inspiring,” and said she knows “there are great things ahead.” Warren tweeted that she knows he will “continue giving back and serving our country for many years to come.”