July 25, 2024

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Amy Klobuchar to End Presidential Bid and Endorse Joe Biden

(Bloomberg) — Amy Klobuchar ended her bid for the presidency Monday and plans to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, a day before the biggest primary night of the 2020 campaign.

The Klobuchar campaign said she will fly to Dallas late Monday for a rally with Biden where she will officially suspend her campaign and endorse him.

Her decision comes as Democratic Party leaders seem to be coalescing around Biden after his commanding win of the South Carolina primary Feb. 29. Another centrist candidate, Pete Buttigieg, dropped out Sunday night.

Biden supporters have also been calling on Michael Bloomberg to drop out to avoid splitting moderate votes with Biden on Super Tuesday, and allowing Bernie Sanders to gain a plurality of delegates at the nominating convention.

Bloomberg spoke to campaign workers in Virginia on Monday and said that instead of dropping out, he was “in it to win it.”

He said he spoke to Klobuchar and Buttigieg on Monday.

“I thought both of them behaved themselves is a nice way to phrase it, but they represented their country and their states very well,” he said.

(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

The Minnesota senator performed poorly in three of the four early-voting states, depriving her of any path to the nomination. The momentum she gained from a third-place finish in New Hampshire quickly vanished when she finished in sixth place in both Nevada and South Carolina.

Rival Elizabeth Warren, who has also been struggling to win votes, sent a tweet of support.

“Thank you to my friend, Amy Klobuchar. You’ve been a champion for working families and women in politics, and I look forward to keeping up that fight by your side,” she wrote.

Klobuchar had positioned herself as the Democrat most likely to reach voters who went for President Donald Trump in 2016, but her lack of appeal to the minority voters who are key to a Democratic win ultimately sank her candidacy.

Klobuchar got a boost when she won seven delegates in New Hampshire, coming in behind Sanders and Buttigieg, but ahead of Warren and Biden.

Her campaign tried to capitalize on that momentum, using a surge in fund-raising to invest in Nevada, South Carolina and the states that vote on Super Tuesday, March 3. But her disappointing finish in South Carolina, where she got 3.1% of the vote, put an end to those hopes.

Despite receiving endorsements from the New York Times editorial board, which she shared with Warren, and several prominent papers in Iowa, New Hampshire, California and Washington State, Klobuchar suffered the same fate as other moderates in a divided field.

At the ninth Democratic debate in Las Vegas in February, Klobuchar, 59, repeatedly clashed with Buttigieg, 38, over whether her career in the Senate provided more important experience his as mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

She lashed out at Buttigieg when he suggested she had made a significant misstep by forgetting the name of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico in an interview.

“Are you trying to say that I’m dumb? Or are you mocking me here, Pete? I said I made an error,” she responded. She then criticized him for losing a statewide race for treasurer in Indiana, noting her own record of statewide wins in Minnesota.

Klobuchar famously announced her candidacy in a blizzard, braving Minneapolis’s February temperatures of 14 degree Fahrenheit and prompting a tweet from the president calling her a “Snowman(woman)!” Klobuchar retorted: “I wonder how your hair would fare in a blizzard?”

That dry sense of humor gained her favor on the stump and in debates where she spent most of her time pushing back on leftist ideas from opponents like Sanders and Warren. Klobuchar rejected many of progressive Democrats’ ideas as unattainable, calling the Green New Deal “aspirational.” She said Medicare for All “could be a possibility in the future” but she was “just looking for something that will work now.”

At a debate in New Hampshire debate in February, she was the only candidate to say she would have “trouble” if a socialist was the Democratic nominee, a clear dig at Sanders.

Her platform included a $1 billion plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. She told voters she intended to win with the same strategy she had used in every race: by “looking people in the eye and telling them the truth and then going back and getting things done” as she put it.

Throughout the race she was polling between 1% and 4%. She raised $25 million for her campaign through the end of 2019, Federal Election Commission records show, putting her sixth among candidates relying on donations to fund their campaigns. Despite a burst of donor enthusiasm after New Hampshire, she couldn’t gather the funds to be competitive in subsequent races.

(Adds quotes from Bloomberg in fifth and sixth paragraphs)

–With assistance from Mark Niquette.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tyler Pager in Washington at [email protected];Emma Kinery in Des Moines at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at [email protected], Magan Crane

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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