Pete Buttigieg apparently caught everyone including his rivals for the 2020 presidential election off guard Sunday evening after abruptly pulling out of the race.
The announcement from the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, came less than a month after a victory was declared in the contested Iowa caucuses and ahead of Super Tuesday, in which 14 states are all set to head to the polls. This puts one-third of all delegates for the nomination on the chopping block.
The Democrat’s rivals commented on his sudden departure.
Thank you, @PeteButtigieg. I know you'll continue giving back and serving our country for many years to come.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 1, 2020
Trailing behind Buttigieg in the latest RealClearPolitics poll average was Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. She wrote on Twitter that Buttigieg had run “an inspiring and historic campaign.” This, of course, is in reference to him being the first openly gay candidate to ever run for president.
She tweeted, “I have so much respect for you @PeteButtigieg and know there are great things ahead. And both John and I are big fans of Chasten!”, referencing both of their husbands.
Joe Biden, former Vice President to Barak Obama, scored a wide victory in Saturday night’s South Carolina primary. He also praised Buttigieg for running a “historic” campaign based on “courage, compassion, and honesty.”
As an Afghanistan war veteran, Buttigieg had been critical of Biden, accusing the 77-year-old career politician of being out of step with modern politics. But recently his criticism has shifted more toward Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, who had been benefiting from the number of candidates dividing up the moderate vote.
Throughout his campaign and on the debate stage, Buttigieg drew admirers for his calm, reasoned demeanor and rhetorical skills that reflected his Harvard-trained, Rhodes scholar background. However, some voters and operatives have described this characteristic as “robotic.”