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Buttigieg calls on Bloomberg to drop out after debate

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete Buttigieg'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' Biden's win is not a policy mandate — he should govern accordingly MORE's presidential campaign called on former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBiden's great challenge: Build an economy for long-term prosperity and security The secret weapon in Biden's fight against climate change Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' 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 SandersBiden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members Hillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far 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. 

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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 TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race 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 BidenMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: 'He's been very, very helpful' MORE and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation 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.