Buttigieg calls on Bloomberg to drop out after debate

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden hires top aides for Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump MORE's presidential campaign called on former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergWake up, America — see what's coming Bloomberg urges court to throw out lawsuit by former campaign staffers Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House's bad decisions have put US behind many other nations on COVID-19; Fears of virus reemergence intensify MORE to drop out of the Democratic presidential primary race in a memo released on Thursday, warning that Bloomberg's presence in the race would propel Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJoe Biden wins New Jersey primary Biden wins Delaware primary Military madness in the age of COVID-19 MORE (I-Vt.) to the Democratic nomination. 

"If Bloomberg remains in the race despite showing he can not offer a viable alternative to Bernie Sanders, he will propel Sanders to a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead siphoning votes away from Pete, the current leader in delegates," Buttigieg's campaign wrote. 

The campaign projected that if the dynamics of the primary do not change, Sanders would emerge from Super Tuesday as almost unbeatable, adding that Buttigieg was the strongest alternative to the progressive senator. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Buttigieg's campaign pointed specifically to what critics called a shaky debate performance from Bloomberg.

"Bloomberg had the worst debate performance in presidential debate history and he showed he can’t handle Sanders, let alone Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE," the campaign wrote. 

Buttigieg currently holds a slim delegate lead over Sanders, with the former mayor carrying 22 delegates and the senator carrying 21. 

However, Bloomberg has not yet contested a state, and the billionaire's presence on the ballot in the delegate-rich Super Tuesday states is likely to shake up the race. 

The Buttigieg memo comes one day after Bloomberg's campaign released a memo calling on Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Joe Biden wins New Jersey primary Biden wins Delaware primary MORE and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 Hillicon Valley: QAnon scores wins, creating GOP problem | Supreme Court upholds regulation banning robocalls to cellphones | Foreign hackers take aim at homebound Americans | Uber acquires Postmates Senate Democrats urge Pompeo to ensure Americans living overseas can vote in November MORE (D-Minn.) to drop out, warning the presence of so many moderates in the race would ensure Sanders the nomination. 

"If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar remain in the race despite having no path to appreciably collecting delegates on Super Tuesday (and beyond), they will propel Sanders to a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead by siphoning votes away from [Bloomberg]," the memo read.