Pete Buttigieg plans to endorse Joe Biden at a rally Monday night in Dallas, a source familiar with the plans told CNN.
The endorsement is a boon for the former vice president, and comes at the same time that Amy Klobuchar is ending her campaign and backing Biden. The Minnesota senator will officially make her endorsement on Monday night in Dallas, too, a campaign aide told CNN.
The endorsements represent a coalescing of the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party around Biden and a rejection of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who — after strong showings in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada — represents the most significant challenge for Biden.
Sources told CNN earlier Monday that Buttigieg was weighing whether to endorse Biden after exiting the Democratic presidential race late Sunday night. The two spoke on Sunday night, sources said, and Buttigieg also spoke with former President Barack Obama.
While Buttigieg spent the final weeks of his campaign focused on taking on front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders, the former mayor did focus his attacks on Biden at different points in the campaign and Biden directed his share of criticism toward Buttigieg, who he was competing against for the moderate wing of the party.
Despite the acrimony, it is common for candidates who once sparred in a primary to come together once one drops out.
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, spoke to Biden by phone after delivering his concession speech, two people familiar with the conversation said. Biden congratulated Buttigieg on his campaign and asked for his endorsement. Buttigieg did not make an immediate decision, telling advisers after the call that he wanted to think about it overnight.
Obama praised Buttigieg on his campaign and his decision to leave the race, source said, noting how difficult it is to disappoint supporters and admirers. Obama also told Buttigieg he ran a historic campaign to be proud of.
The former President made clear the decision on whether to endorse a candidate is Buttigieg’s alone to make, two people familiar with the call say. The two discussed the leverage that Buttigieg has now — and how he could be most helpful in shaping the race.
The Klobuchar campaign confirmed that the senator is flying to Dallas to join the former vice president at his rally, where she will suspend her campaign and give her endorsement on the eve of Super Tuesday. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg also will endorse Biden at the rally, a source familiar told CNN.
Klobuchar’s path to the nomination all but closed after she posted sixth-place finishes in Nevada and South Carolina, a sign that the Minnesota senator’s surprising showing in New Hampshire would not be nearly enough to propel her toward the nomination.
A Democratic official told CNN that the Klobuchar campaign was worried that the senator would lose her home state of Minnesota on Tuesday. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the race’s front-runner, is holding a rally in the state on Monday night.
Nominating Joe Biden is a guarantee that at least a portion of the general election campaign will be conducted in Senate hearing rooms. People should be talking about that.
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) March 2, 2020
Bernie is on CNN tonight for a presentation at 7 CT.
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