Former rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar endorsed Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy on Monday on the eve of Super Tuesday voting, as moderate Democrats rallied around the former vice president to strengthen his challenge to front-runner Bernie Sanders.
Buttigieg threw his support to Biden at an emotional appearance at a Dallas restaurant, while Klobuchar delivered a barnstorm of a speech at a rally, reminiscent of the types politicians give at their party conventions when anointing their presidential nominees.
“Joe Biden has dedicated his life to fighting for people,” Klobuchar said, before introducing Biden at the rally in Dallas on Monday night.
“Not for the rich and powerful, but for the mom, for the farmer, for the dreamer, for the veteran. He can bring our country together.”
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and the first openly gay presidential candidate, said earlier in Dallas that he was “delighted to endorse and support Joe Biden.”
“He is somebody of such extraordinary grace and kindness and empathy.”
Biden, 77, in turn, told reporters that Buttigieg, 38, “reminds me of my son Beau,” who died in 2015, adding: “To me, it is the highest compliment you can give any man or woman.”
Former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, another former candidate for the Democratic nomination, also endorsed Biden, appearing to cheers as a surprise guest at the rally in Dallas.
Biden is fresh off a resounding victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary and is aiming for a strong showing on Super Tuesday against Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, who many centrist Democrats fear cannot win against Republican President Donald Trump in November.
But Biden still faces a challenge from billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg among voters hoping the party will nominate a moderate to face Trump.