Pete Buttigieg calls for party unity and drops out from presidential race

To a cheering crowd of supporters Sunday night in South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg formally announced he will not be running for president as he called for party unity and a predominant commitment to restoring a Democratic White House.

We got into this race in order to defeat the current president and to create a new political vision adhering to the rules of the road respect, belonging, truth, team work, boldness, responsibility, substance, discipline, excellence and joy, the openly gay former mayor of South Bend said.

Every decision we made was guided by these values, Buttigieg continued, just hours after news broke of his dropping out of the presidential race. One of those values was truth. And today is a moment of truth. The truth is the path has narrowed to a close. For our candidacy though not for our cause.

In line with the “responsibility” component, he said, he had to consider the effect of remaining in the race given that the overriding goal was to get Donald Trump out of the White House to make way for a more inclusive, and non-divisive, public sphere.

And so we must recognize that at this point in the race the best way to keep faith with these goals and ideals is to step back, Buttigieg said, amid chants of “USA!” So tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign. He promised to do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January.

Earlier Sunday, Buttigieg had breakfast with former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, and mentioned in his speech that he had walked across the bridge at Selma, Alabama.

While he declared victory in the first contest of the Democratic primary, in Iowa, and came in second in the New Hampshire primary, his campaign lost steam in Nevada and South Carolina, where he came in at third and fourth place, respectively.

The 38-year-old veteran of the war in Afghanistan towed a centrist line as he went up against a field teeming with more liberal and more experienced candidates.

He joined other remaining contenders in piling on front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the televised debates, saying last week, If you think the last four years chaotic, divisive, toxic, exhausting, imagine spending the better part of 2020 with Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump.

Last year, he raised $76 million for his campaign, an astonishing sum for a candidate whose political resume was limited to running a town of barely over 100,000.

While poised to potentially make history as the first openly gay president, Buttigieg played down the importance of his sexual orientation on the campaign trail with comments like it’s not the only thing that defines me.

His inability to win over voters of color may his biggest weakness in the primary. He polled in the single digits with black and Latino voters.

Buttigieg’s decision came ahead of this week’s “Super Tuesday,” when 14 states will hold primaries.

He “didn’t want to steal delegates instead of uniting the party,” a campaign source told media. Buttigieg has “no plans at this time” to endorse another candidate.

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