Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is likely to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden for president after dropping out of the Democrat presidential primary on Sunday evening, according to CNN.
Obama, who has yet to make an endorsement in the primary, suggested to Buttigieg that he use his considerable leverage in the race, though he did not specifically ask the former mayor to support Biden. Buttigieg made no mention of who he would support upon announcing his departure from the race. An endorsement from Buttigieg before Tuesday — in which a third of the delegates are up for grabs — would give Biden a considerable boost as he aims to reclaim his frontrunner status from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
“What Pete Buttigieg did was try to lead the way,” CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash said of Buttigieg’s decision to quit the race. “He’s saying, without using these words, ‘I’m the guy who won Iowa. I came from nowhere with a name nobody could pronounce, with no national base, no national and natural fundraising base. And look at how far I came. And yet, I understand the reality of math. I don’t see a path forward.’”
“The signal he is giving to others, including somebody with a lot of money, the deepest pockets in the world, Mike Bloomberg, is, ‘Okay, guys. It’s time. Let’s pull back.’ He’s not actually endorsing Joe Biden,” Bash added. “I can tell you that there is a lot of encouragement — people begging him to do so from around Biden world — but he’s making clear that it’s time to consolidate.”
Meanwhile, President Trump and his allies have said that Buttigieg’s departure is part of a plan to stop Sanders from winning the Democrat Party’s nomination. “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!” the president wrote on Twitter last night. Further, Eric Trump, said that the former mayor had “sold his soul” to boost Biden and hurt Sanders.
President Trump has accused the Democrat National Committee (DNC) of working with former New York Mayor and presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg to “rig the election” against the Vermont senator.
Nonetheless, Sanders heaped praise on Buttiegig after he quit the race as the first openly gay major presidential contender and invited the former mayor’s supporters to back his campaign.