Biden, Buttigieg unite to stop Sanders
DALLAS – It was a scene that was hard to imagine just one week ago.
Joe Biden, 77, and until Sunday his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination Pete Buttigieg, 38, appeared together before a tiny crowd in the Chicken Scratch restaurant in Dallas, where Buttigieg endorsed the former vice president.
Fighting back tears, Biden compared the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to his late son Beau, saying it’s the highest compliment he could offer any person.
Having ditched his own bid for the nomination, Buttigieg, who had spent months calling for generational change, said Biden would “bring back dignity to the White House”.
Buttigieg’s endorsement was the most eye-catching among over 100 that flooded in for Biden from mostly moderate Democrats after his dominant South Carolina win on Saturday.
That victory gave Biden unexpected momentum going into the pivotal “Super Tuesday” contests of 14 states that will vote on the nominee to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in November.
New Biden backers also included US Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who ended her own presidential bid on Monday, as well as another former presidential rival, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke. Both endorsed Biden at his final rally in Dallas before voting begins in Texas and 13 other states on Tuesday.
Biden’s comeback in South Carolina, after poor showings in other early voting states, was exactly the kind of a victory that Democratic party officials, alarmed that front-runner US Senator Bernie Sanders is far too liberal to beat Trump, had been craving, according to more than two dozen people who either gave their endorsements or were involved behind the scenes.
“I hadn’t planned on endorsing anybody, but then I started getting worried that Bernie Sanders would become the nominee,” said former Senator Barbara Boxer of California, a longtime Senate colleague of both Biden and Sanders.
Buttigieg’s endorsement, in particular, surprised Biden.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg endorsing former US Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign at Chicken Scratch in Dallas, Texas, US, March 2, 2020. (Reuters)