Buttigieg calls on Bloomberg to drop out after debate

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Airlines suspend US flights in response to 5G deployment AT&T, Verizon to delay 5G rollout near certain airports MORE's presidential campaign called on former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergHow Biden can correct the course in his second year Biden's Jan. 6 speech was a missed opportunity to unite the nation Democrats must face the reality of their Latino voter problem 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 SandersOn The Money — No SALT, and maybe no deal Menendez goes after Sanders over SALT comments It's time for the Senate to vote: Americans have a right to know where their senators stand 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. 


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 TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world 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 BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley — Biden celebrates 'right to repair' wins Advocacy groups urge Congress to tackle tech giants' auto industry focus Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law 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.