Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg have both withdrawn from the Democrat primary race and have endorsed Joe Biden.
The endorsements come as the Democratic Party’s moderate wing scrambled to boost the former vice president just hours before voting began across a series of high-stakes Super Tuesday states.
The urgency of the moment reflected deep concerns from the Democratic establishment that Bernie Sanders, a polarizing progressive, was positioned to seize a significant delegate lead when 14 states, one U.S. territory vote on Tuesday.
Klobuchar suspended her campaign and endorsed Biden Monday, a day after Buttigieg announced his exit. Both Klobuchar and Buttigieg, who had been Biden’s chief competition for their party’s pool of more moderate voters over the last year, declared their public support for Biden at evening events in Dallas. They were joined by another former competitor, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who also backed Biden on Monday.
“I’m looking for a leader, I’m looking for a president, who will draw out what’s best in each of us,” Buttigieg said alongside Biden. “We have found that leader in vice president, soon-to-be president, Joe Biden.”
Speaking at a Biden rally later in the night, Klobuchar called for unity: “If we spend the next four months dividing our party and going at each other we will spend the next four year watching Donald Trump tear apart our country,” she said. “We need to unite our party and our country.”
Campaigning in Klobuchar’s home state of Minnesota on Monday night, Sanders discouraged the crowd from booing Biden and welcomed his rivals’ supporters to join his campaign.
“To all of Amy and Pete’s millions of supporters, the door is open. Come on in,” Sanders said. “We all share the understanding that together we are going to beat Donald Trump.”
Sanders’ senior adviser Jeff Weaver was less polite earlier Monday.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the candidates funded by big money and super PACs are coalescing behind Joe Biden, and that’s not a surprise,” he said.
And while Biden’s momentum is undeniable, not everyone in his party’s moneyed establishment is convinced.
Some major donors preferred to wait until after Super Tuesday to decide whether to join the Biden movement. And even some of his more loyal fundraisers remain frustrated by disorganization within the campaign.
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