Buttigieg quits 2020 race ahead of Super Tuesday
(SOUND BITE) (English) FORMER SOUTH BEND, INDIANA, MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, SAYING: "The truth is that the path has narrowed to a close..." Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay candidate to launch a major bid for the presidency, announced that he was dropping out of the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination. (SOUND BITE) (English) FORMER SOUTH BEND, INDIANA, MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, SAYING: "Our goal has always been to help unify Americans to defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values... And 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." His departure from the race comes the day after former Vice President Joe Biden won a major victory in South Carolina, and just two days before Super Tuesday, the biggest day of voting in which 14 states will hold nominating contests. (SOUND BITE) (English) FORMER SOUTH BEND, INDIANA, MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, SAYING: "I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president. But I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January." Earlier on Sunday, Buttigieg marched with other Democratic candidates to honor the anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" civil rights march in Selma, Alabama. His campaign had struggled to attract support from African-American voters, a core voting bloc for the Democratic Party. The 38-year-old former two-term mayor from South Bend, Indiana, and an Afghanistan war veteran gained early momentum after he narrowly won the Iowa caucuses last month and finished a close second in New Hampshire. After finishing a distant third in the Nevada caucuses, Buttigieg came in fourth in South Carolina, where he won support from just 3% of African-American voters. His departure leaves six Democrats in the race for the presidential nomination, which at one time had more than 20 candidates. Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who came in third in South Carolina, also dropped his bid for the White House. The decision by Buttigieg, a centrist Democrat, to exit the race could help Biden, a fellow moderate who got a much-needed win on Saturday, and is now looking to wrest momentum from liberal front-runner Bernie Sanders.