Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg suspended his presidential campaign on Sunday evening in a speech given in South Bend, Ind. He ends his campaign after a disappointing third-place finish in Nevada and a fourth-place finish in South Carolina after winning the Iowa Caucus and finishing second in the New Hampshire Primary.
He talked about how he started this presidential race with humble beginnings with only four staff in a small office in South Bend where they hardly had any money, and no one knew his name.
“By every conventional wisdom and by every historical measure, we were never supposed to get anywhere at all,” Buttigieg said.
Then Iowa “shocked the nation,” he said. “Along that way, an improbable hope became an undeniable reality.”
Buttigieg pointed out in a race with U.S. Senators, governors, and a former vice president his campaign made a top-four finish in the first four contests. Yet he only secured three delegates in Nevada and walked away from South Carolina with none.
He said his top four finishes “proved that Americans were hungry for a new type of politics rooted in the values that we share.”
After Iowa and New Hampshire, any momentum Buttigieg had faded.
As of Friday, Super Tuesday polling showed him at fourth or fifth in most states, in third place in two states, and second place in Vermont, but trailing Bernie Sanders so severely he would not end with any delegates. Based on polling, he would not receive delegates in any Super Tuesday state.
Buttigieg remarked on his status as an openly gay presidential candidate.
“Our campaign sent a message to every kid out there who were wondering if whatever marks them out as different means that they are somehow destined to be less than, to see that someone who once felt that exact same way, can become a leading American presidential candidate with his husband at his side,” Buttigieg said.
“We got into this race for a reason. We got into this race to defeat the current president and to usher in a new kind of politics,” he said.
“Today is a moment of truth,” Buttigieg added, noting that as they have campaigned for a year that the “path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause.”
He stated that his campaign had to consider the impact remaining in the race would cause.
“Our goal has always been to help unify Americans to defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values. So we must recognize that at this point in the race, the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party and our country together. So tonight, I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency,” Buttigieg announced.
So the Democratic presidential field that has seen 29 candidates (though not all at one time) run now narrows to seven. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, billionaire Mike Bloomberg, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, are all who remain in the race.
Watch Buttigieg’s speech below: