Joe Biden gives Pete Buttigieg the ‘highest compliment’ in his vocabulary after receiving his backing for president
In a swift turn of events, smalltown mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the Democratic presidential race and has now backed former vice president Joe Biden.
But following months of trading barbs with one another during debates, a rare moment of camaraderie was enjoyed by the pair. After Buttigieg backed Biden Monday evening, Biden offered him the highest compliment in his vocabulary.
The 77-year-old praised Buttigieg’s values before likening him to his late son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
Joe Biden: ‘You’re going to end up over your lifetime seeing a hell of a lot more of Pete than of me.’
With Super Tuesday – which sees 14 states vote – looming ahead, onetime rivals are now throwing their support towards Biden in an attempt to unite the moderate wing of the party and blunt Bernie Sanders’ momentum.
It’s formed a rescue mission touted by Buttigieg and fellow former rival Amy Klobuchar.
At a pre-stop rally in Dallas, Buttigieg showered Biden with praise. He said the candidate could “restore the soul” of the nation as president as well as restore “dignity to the White House”.
“I want you to know how unbelievably and unfailingly decent I have known vice president Biden to be,” Buttigieg, in his usual iron-pressed white shirt, said in a gravelly patch outside a restaurant.
Buttigieg went onto discuss his experience of getting to know Biden as a competitor. “He is somebody of such extraordinary grace and kindness and empathy,” the 38-year-old said as Biden, bleary-eyed, looked on behind him.
“I’m looking for a president who will draw out the best in each of us,” Buttigieg continued, rallying his voters to shift to Biden, “we have found that leader in vice president, soon to be president, Joe Biden.”
Biden then took to the podium, acknowledging that the moment might be “bittersweet” to former supporters. He dubbed the mayor “a man who is not only brilliant, but is decent”, before speaking of the promising future ahead of the once-obscure mayor.
I am absolutely confidently with further exposure in the nation to Pete and all that he stands for and all he’ll do and all he can do that there is no limitation on what this man can get done.
“He reminds me of my son Beau,” Biden added, “and I know that may not mean much to most people but to me it’s the highest compliment I could give any man or woman.
“Like Beau, he had a backbone like he has a ramrod, I really really mean this.”
He added: “You’re going to end up over your lifetime seeing a hell of a lot more of Pete than of me.”
The pair then hugged before swinging into the restaurant to chat to bar patrons.
What comes next?
It all comes down to Super Tuesday, where a sizeable chunk of delegates will vote on who they believe could unseat US president Donald Trump.
In the shrinking field of candidates – once clogged with more than two dozen – just five remain now.
Candidates are going into full tilt for Super Tuesday, with three moderates left and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and Maschustests senator Elizabeth Warren repping the left-leaning Democrat bloc.
Sanders has steered ahead in polls and previous caucus votes, and the crucial questions hanging above the four-piece are whether the suspended campaigns and allegiances will have any impact at all.
Millions of voters across 14 states and one territory – including the battlegrounds of California and Texas – will take to the polls. Biden’s support is growing, but Sanders’ fund-raising has far outpaced other candidates.