Buttigieg exits White House race, Biden raises hopes

Foreign Desk Report

WASHINGTON: Pete Buttigieg, the openly gay US presidential candidate, on Sunday ended his campaign to be the Democratic nominee giving a major boost to fellow centrist Joe Biden.
The 38-year-old Buttigieg’s surprise decision was set to shake up the race this week when 14 states vote on “Super Tuesday.” It is expected to further boost the fortunes of Biden after the former vice president scored a resounding victory in South Carolina’s primary on Saturday in the contest to see who faces President Donald Trump in November.
Biden has emerged as the chief moderate challenger to frontrunner Bernie Sanders, the firebrand leftist who has taken the race by storm and is looking to score big wins on Tuesday in states such as crown jewel California.
Buttigieg, a military veteran and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, addressed supporters in his home town. “The truth is that the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy, if not for our cause,” he said.
Buttigieg did not mention Sanders by name in his speech, but he has publicly stated he believes the 78-year-old senator’s “inflexible” political approach would fail in a match-up against Trump. “We need a broad-based agenda that can truly deliver for the American people, not one that gets lost in ideology,” he said.
Buttigieg emerged as a major player by narrowly winning the Iowa caucuses, earning widespread attention for his unflustered and professional approach in an often bitter Democratic nomination battle.