'Moment of truth:' Pete Buttigieg leaves the Democratic race

WASHINGTON: He retired from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday, saying he no longer saw a change in victory, the day after a moderate fellow Joe biden He won a great victory in South Carolina.

The move shook the Democratic race to elect a candidate to face Republican President Donald Trump in the November elections and came two days before the 14 Super Tuesday nomination contests in 14 states that will offer the biggest election prize so far.

Buttigieg, a 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who gained momentum soon after winning the Iowa committees last month and finished second in New Hampshire, had tried to unite the independent Democrats and moderate Republican voters. But he finished a distant third in Nevada and fourth in South Carolina.

Today is a moment of truth ... the truth is that the road has closed for our candidacy if it is not for our cause, Buttigieg told his followers in South Bend Sunday night. Our goal has always been to unify Americans to help defeat Donald Trump and win the era for our values.

His departure leaves six contenders in the Democratic presidential race, which once had more than 20 candidates. An adviser told Reuters that Buttigieg was retiring to avoid the odds of being the favorite Bernie Sanders , a Vermont senator and self-styled democratic socialist.

Pete was not going to play the role of spoiler, said the advisor, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Could I have gone through the super Tuesday and beyond? Clear. But this was not an exercise in vanity.

Buttigieg and Biden tried to talk on the phone on Sunday but they didn't connect, according to a Buttigieg advisor.

Environmental billionaire Tom Steyer abandoned his offer after finishing third in South Carolina on Saturday.

Earlier on Sunday, Democratic candidates commemorated the anniversary of a historic civil rights march in Alabama in 1965.

Some faithful of the African-American church in Selma, Alabama, where the event was held, turned their backs on moderate presidential contender Michael Bloomberg, who will appear for the first time on the ballots on Tuesday after skipping the first four contests.

Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York, received a cold reception at the historic Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma after the pastor, Reverend Leodis Strong, said at the meeting that the billionaire businessman initially rejected the invitation to speak.

He was hurt, he was disappointed, Strong said while Bloomberg watched in amazement. I think it is important that he has come, and shows a willingness on his part to change.

About 10 people in the small church with a couple hundred attendees stood up and turned their backs on Bloomberg while talking about racial inequality.

Biden and Bloomberg are trying to present themselves as the best option of the party to face Trump, saying that Sanders is too left to win the general election.

'Just an insult'

Black voters are a key Democratic electorate, and Bloomberg has been criticized for supporting the use of a police practice called stop and search in New York City that encouraged police to stop and search for affected pedestrians and blacks and Latinos. disproportionately.

It is an insult to him to come here. It is disrespect for the legacy of this place, Lisa Brown, who traveled to Selma from Los Angeles, told Reuters after turning her back on Bloomberg. He said the idea of ​​protesting Bloomberg's comments had circulated, but that he presented himself as an individual, not as an organized group.

The silent protest suggests that Bloomberg faces an uphill climb with some African-American voters, who led Biden to a resounding victory in South Carolina.

Biden, who was vice president of the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama, was clearly the favorite in the Selma church. He was sitting by the pastor, in front of the benches where Bloomberg was sitting, and received a brilliant presentation from the representative of the United States, a black legislator from Alabama.

He has earned the right to be in this pulpit and to address you now, Sewell told the crowd.

The candidates were in Selma to commemorate the 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when civil rights protesters were beaten by state and local police while crossing a bridge.

'Looking for a Democrat'

Some officials expressed concern last week over the sudden increase in Sanders, worried that their aggressive policy priorities, including the establishment of a mandatory health system run by the government for all rather than private health insurance, may discourage to moderate voters who need so much to defend competitive seats in Congress.

I think the Democratic Party is looking for a Democrat, not a socialist, not a former Republican, a Democrat, to be his candidate, Biden told Fox News Sunday.

Biden's reference to a former Republican seems to have been directed at Bloomberg, who changed parties several times in his career.

Sanders attacked Biden for taking contributions from political organizations called Super PAC and billionaires, which he said was at the expense of working-class, middle-class and low-income people.

"I don't go to rich people's homes like Joe biden ," Sanders said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Biden lags behind Sanders in fundraising and organizing in the Super Tuesday states and beyond.

Sanders planned to campaign on Sunday in California, largely democratic, where he conducts opinion polls.

The Sanders campaign said overnight that it raised $ 46.5 million from more than 2.2 million donations in February, a huge sum that outshines what any other Democratic candidate raised last year in any three-month period.

Biden said Sunday that his campaign had raised more than $ 10 million in the last two days, driven by his victory in South Carolina.