Buttigieg ends White House bid, Biden back in contention
WASHINGTON : US presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg 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 looks set to shake up the race this week when 14 states vote on Super Tuesday.
It is expected to further boost the fortunes of Mr 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.
Mr Biden has emerged as the chief moderate challenger to front runner Bernie Sanders, the firebrand leftist who has taken the race by storm and is looking to score big wins on Tuesday in states like Texas and the crown jewel California.
Mr 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.
Mr Buttigieg, who is gay, did not mention Mr 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 Mr Trump.
"We need a broad-based agenda that can truly deliver for the American people, not one that gets lost in ideology," he said, telegraphing in a way his opposition to a Sanders nomination.
Mr Buttigieg, however, stopped short of endorsing Mr Biden or any other candidate.
His third-place finish in Nevada and a worse showing in South Carolina confirmed he struggled to build a broad coalition, including support from black voters - a key Democratic demographic.- REUTERS