After securing no delegates in South Carolina, a sign of his campaign’s continued struggle with black voters, CNBC reports that Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is dropping out of the race.
The news reportedly comes from a senior campaign aide who told the publication that Buttigieg is flying to South Bend, Indiana, where he served as mayor for two terms, to make the announcement.
As reported by CNN, aides claimed that Buttigieg made his decision on Sunday.
“He believes this is the right thing to do right now for our country and the country to heal this divided nation and defeat President Trump,” one aide said.
“He decided that now was the time and, I think that is exactly why he is getting out. He believes this is the right thing to do.”
Earlier on Sunday, the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor appeared on MSNBC’s Meet the Press and was prodded by host Chuck Todd over his decision to stay in the race.
“Every day we are in this campaign is a day that we have reached the conclusion that pushing forward is the best thing we can do for the country and for the party,” Buttigieg said.
Despite beginning the race in support of Bernie Sanders‘ Medicare for All bill, Buttigieg ended as a fierce opponent of the Vermont senator. At the Las Vegas debate in January, Buttigieg warned of Sanders’ rise and claimed that the Democratic Party needs to “wake up.”
As noted by many, Buttigieg penned an award-winning essay praising Sanders back in 2000, as reported by The Intercept.
.@PeteButtigieg is my friend.
He’s one of the finest men I’ve ever met. I thank God he ran for president. This race wouldn’t have been the same without him.
His future is bright. Our party needs his heart, his mind, and his energy going forward.
Thank you, Pete. We love you. pic.twitter.com/B4LXvYBSXK
— Christopher J. Hale (@chrisjollyhale) March 1, 2020
Regardless, Buttigieg’s campaign appears to be coming to an end following a poor performance not just in South Carolina, but in the Nevada caucuses, where he placed third and gained only 2 percent of the black vote. Although Buttigieg predicted that his success in Iowa and New Hampshire would provide enough momentum to carry his campaign to Super Tuesday, CNBC reports that these performances were ultimately not enough.
Buttigieg’s campaign was historic as he was the first gay candidate to earn presidential primary delegates for the nomination of a major party. The campaign also struggled with black and other minority voters, with many pointing to his checkered past as mayor of South Bend as a primary reason.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, secret tapes suggested that Buttigieg fired South Bend’s first black police chief, Darryl Boykins, due to a plan hatched by white officers. Reports also claimed that he ignored complaints and evidence of racism in the force, which harmed his reputation among the black voting bloc.