Buttigieg Denies Sanders’ Claim the “Establishment” Forced Him Out of the Race

"The kind of people who run for President of the United States are the kind of people who make their own decisions."

Pete Buttigieg has denied he was forced to suspend his presidential campaign by the Democratic establishment, a claim made by Bernie Sanders during a Meet The Press interview on Sunday.

“The establishment put a great deal of pressure on Pete Buttigieg, on Amy Klobuchar, who ran really aggressive campaigns. Well, I know both of them. They work really, really hard. But suddenly, right before Super Tuesday, they announced their withdrawal,” Sanders told Chuck Todd.

“If they had not withdrawn from the race before Super Tuesday, which is kind of a surprise to a lot of people, I suspect we would have won in Minnesota, we would have won in Maine, we would have won in Massachusetts. The turnout may have been a little bit different,” he added.

Buttigieg, Biden
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Buttigieg laughed as Craig Melvin asked about Sanders’ framing of his exit from the race during a Today Show interview on Monday.

“What kind of a pressure did you feel from the establishment?” Melvin asked.

“Well, I felt the pressure of voters making a decision,” Buttigieg said. “We ran four contests; I’m proud of the campaign we ran, but by the time we’d run our fourth race it was clear the numbers weren’t there.”

“You know, getting into this race was never just about becoming president. For us, it was about working to unify the party and the country, and it was about making sure that we defeat Donald Trump, and there came a point where I realized that the best thing I could do in service of those goals was to step aside, to support Joe Biden.”

“The establishment didn’t pressure you to get out?” Melvin asked again.

“No,” he reiterated. “Look, the kind of people who run for President of the United States are the kind of people who make their own decisions, and it was my decision.”

In addition to Buttigieg and Klobuchar, former candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination who have come out in support of Biden include Michael Bloomberg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, John Delaney, Beto O’Rourke, Seth Moulton, and Tim Ryan.

Conversely, Bill de Blasio and Marianne Williamson have thrown their support behind Sanders. Elizabeth Warren has still not come out in support of either.

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