Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg suspended his presidential campaign Sunday in an effort to unite his fractured party, a campaign aide for the Democrat told Fox News.
“Buttigieg wants to unite the party right now and he thinks that getting out of the race before Super Tuesday is the best way to do that,” the unnamed aide told Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy.
Campaign staffers for the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced earlier Sunday he’s ending his presidential campaign in an abrupt and surprising pullout that further narrowed the field of Democrats less than a month after he declared victory in the contested Iowa caucuses.
Recalling a conversation he had with the candidate following Tuesday night’s debate, Doocy said on “Fox Report” that Buttigieg seemed hopeful and had no plans at that point to terminate his presidential bid.
“By Super Tuesday, we could be on an irreversible trajectory towards nominating Bernie Sanders unless we come together around an alternative,” Buttigieg told Doocy at the time. “I’m offering to be that alternative.”
Buttigieg’s campaign had hosted a conference call Saturday to focus on delegate strategy heading into Super Tuesday, Doocy said. “But, something changed.”
Buttigieg had been scheduled to headline a rally in Dallas on Sunday night but rerouted the charter plane to South Bend to make his official announcement.
Doocy, who covered Buttigieg extensively on the campaign trail, said voters should focus on whether to choose a “different alternative to Bernie Sanders, since he has decided that it’s not going to be him.”
Voters in 14 states are set to head to the polls on Super Tuesday, where one-third of all delegates will be at stake. Buttigieg’s move meant the race was increasingly likely to come down to Joe Biden, who won by a large margin in South Carolina, and Sanders, who secured the popular vote in Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.
Fox News’ Gregg Re and Jon Scott contributed to this report.
Author: Yael Halon
Source: Fox News: Buttigieg campaign aide tells Fox News why he’s ending presidential bid