Biden endorsed by Buttigieg, Klobuchar and O'Rourke in Dallas ahead of Super Tuesday
Joe Biden received the endorsements of three primary opponents in Dallas on Monday night, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, who each just ended their presidential bids, and Texas native son Beto O'Rourke, who dropped out of the race in November. The move unifies most of the moderates in the race behind Biden on the eve of Super Tuesday, when 14 states go to the polls.
"I'm looking for a president who will draw out what is best in each of us," Buttigieg said in support of Biden at a rally in Dallas. "And I'm encouraging everybody who was part of my campaign to join me, because we have found that leader."
Buttigieg moved Biden to recall his his late son, Beau Biden, and he talked about the attributes they shared. "I warned Pete that if I were lucky enough to get the nomination, that I would be asking him to join. I would be asking him to be involved in this process because there are a generation of leaders Pete's age, like my son, Beau, who have unlimited potential. Unlimited potential." He continued, "And I look over at Pete during the debates, and I'd think... I think, you know... that's a Beau because he has such enormous character, such intellectual capacity, and such a commitment to other people."
Buttigieg appeared with Biden a day after he had ended his presidential bid.
Amy Klobuchar, who ended her campaign earlier Monday, also threw her support to Biden at a rally in Dallas on Monday night.
"It is up to all of us to put our country back together," Klobuchar told hundreds of rally attendees gathered at Gilley's in Dallas, for her formal endorsement of Biden. "I believe this is something we can do together. That is why today, I am ending my campaign and endorsing Joe Biden."
Crowds erupted in cheers of "let's go Joe!"
"If you feel tired of the noise and the nonsense, and the extremes, I think you know you have a home with me. And you have a home with Joe Biden," Klobuchar exclaimed, effectively inserting the former vice president into her stump speech.
Voters CBS News spoke with ahead of Monday's event appeared energetic, receptive and encouraged by Klobuchar's endorsement. A few in the audience called out "Amy! VP!" throughout her remarks.
Klobuchar introduced Biden with this message: "Vote for Joe. Vote for dignity. Vote for a heart for our country. That is what he will bring to the White House. And with that, I give you the next president."
A visibly grateful Biden took the stage after Klobuchar. He thanked her repeatedly and praised her Senate record and campaign. He promised the crowd that that it wouldn't be the last time they saw Klobuchar. Calling her "one of the most effective senators in the Senate," Biden said that her campaign was all about what can get done.
After he finished speaking, he told the crowd he had one more person to introduce. The crowd erupted in cheers for O'Rourke, who still inspires many Democrats in this state after his close Senate race against Ted Cruz in 2018.
O'Rourke called Biden "decent, kind, caring and empathetic." He talked about Biden's ability to heal the nation, and provide a moral compass for the country. "We need somebody who can establish the moral authority of the United States," O'Rourke said.
In an interview with CBS News earlier Monday, Biden said he had spoken to Buttigieg and encouraged him to "stay engaged," but said he had not asked for his endorsement.
Buttigieg and Klobuchar's endorsements come amid perhaps the most fluid two days so far in the 14-month Democratic presidential race, as the moderate establishment wing of the party seeks to quickly coalesce behind Biden. The former vice president's decisive victory in the South Carolina primary on Saturday was seen as a strong signal that African-Americans, the most loyal bloc of Democratic voters, strongly prefer that he emerge as the party's choice.
Bernie Sanders, who is leading polls in Texas and California, the two biggest states voting Tuesday, responded to the spate of endorsements for Biden, saying in an appearance on CNN, "From Day One, we have been taking on the establishment." He added, "It is no surprise they do not want me to become president."
Texas is one of 14 states going to the polls on Tuesday, the day on the primary calendar when the largest share of delegates is at stake. A CBS News Battleground Tracker poll conducted last week found Sanders held a four-point lead over Biden in the Lonestar State, where 228 delegates are at stake.
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