Moments after former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg told supporters he’s ending his presidential campaign Sunday, President Trump said it reflected the growing pressure among more moderate Democrats to consolidate in order to blunt the rise of progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Trump tweeted: “Pete Buttigieg is OUT. All of his SuperTuesday votes will to Sleepy Joe Biden. Great timing. 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
Buttigieg previously had said Sanders was too liberal to be elected.
Buttigieg’s withdrawal came just days before voters in 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 front runner Sanders by providing a coalescing boost to more moderate candidates, as Buttigieg had gone on the offensive against the Vermont senator and sought to appeal to the centrist base of the party.
Sanders’ delegate lead over Joe Biden has shrunk from 30 to 8 after Biden’s big win in the South Carolina primary.