Former South Bend mayor, Pete Buttigieg has ended his presidential race just ahead of Super Tuesday.
“Mayor Pete” ended his presidential campaign Sunday, in an abrupt and surprising pullout that further narrows the field of Democrats less than a month after he declared victory in the contested Iowa caucuses.
“I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January,” Buttigieg told a throng of enthusiastic and emotional supporters in South Bend, Ind., on Sunday night, in a speech that still resonated with Buttigieg’s positive and upbeat style.
“We sent a message to every kid out there wondering if whatever marks them out as different means they are destined to be less than,” he continued amid chants of “USA!” and other cheers. “To see someone who once felt that exact same way can become a leading presidential candidate with his husband at his side.”
Buttigieg’s husband Chasten introduced the candidate by remarking through tears that “Pete got me to believe in myself again. … I told Pete to run because I knew there were other kids that needed to believe in themselves, too.”
Buttigieg’s decision was no doubt sparked by his dismal showing in the South Carolina primary the day before. He failed to secure 15 percent viability among Palmetto State voters on Saturday, where he claimed just 11 percent of support. However, Buttigieg did manage to secure 26 delegates in the first three races in New Hampshire, Nevada and Iowa.
Buttigieg’s withdrawal came just days before 14 states are set to head to the polls on Super Tuesday, where one-third of all delegates for the nomination will be at stake. His exit likely will harm frontrunner Bernie Sanders by providing a coalescing boost to more moderate candidates.
President Trump reacted by tweeting, “Pete Buttigieg is OUT,” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday. “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!”
Buttigieg’s departure followed billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer’s recent exit from the Democrat nomination process.
“I said if I didn’t see a path to winning, that I’d suspend my campaign,” he said. “Honestly, I can’t see a path where I can win the presidency.”
Steyer made the announcement shortly after polls closed for the South Carolina primary this weekend. He came in third with 11.3 percent of the vote.
The departures of Buttigieg and Steyer now leaves just six candidates in the once crowded Democrat presidential field, ahead of Super Tuesday.