In his Las Vegas concession speech, Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg made his most explicit case against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), warning a “rush to nominate” the Democratic Socialist would be a disaster for Democrats up and down the ballot, as well as beating President Trump in the general election.
“I congratulate my competitors on a vigorous campaign here in Nevada, and I congratulate Senator Sanders on a strong showing today knowing that we celebrate many of the same ideals,” Buttigieg said in remarks after Nevada called the race for Sanders. “But before we rush to nominate Senator Sanders in our one shot to take on this president, let us take a sober look at what is at stake for our party, for our values, and for those with the most to lose.”
Buttigieg, who had spent the most time in Nevada than all of his, used most his concession speech to cast himself as one who is capable of building a broad Democratic coalition that doesn’t “leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans” in the hopes to defeat Trump.
“Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans,” Buttigieg said.
“I believe the only way to truly deliver any of the progressive changes we care about is to be a nominee who actually gives a damn about the effect you are having, from the top of the ticket, on those crucial, front-line House and Senate Democrats running to win, who we need to win, to make sure our agenda is more than just words on a page,” Buttigieg added. “Sen. Sanders, on the other hand, is ignoring, dismissing, or even attacking the very Democrats we absolutely must send to Capitol Hill in order to keep Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, in order to support judges who respect privacy and democracy, and in order to send Mitch McConnell into retirement. Let’s listen to what those voices are telling us.”
He warned Sanders “ideological revolution” is a divisive movement that would turn away potential new voters.
“I believe we need to defeat Trump and turn the page on this era in our politics by establishing a tone of belonging, bringing an end to the viciousness and the bullying that is tearing apart the country,” he said. “Sanders’s revolution has the tenor of combat, division and polarization, a vision where whoever wins the day, nothing will change the toxic tone of our politics.”
Buttigieg cast Sanders, a self-identified democratic socialist, as deeply out of touch with most Democratic primary voters.
“Sen. Sanders sees capitalism as the root of all evil. He’d go beyond reform and reorder the economy in ways most Democrats, let alone most Americans, don’t support,” Buttigieg said. “We can prioritize either ideological purity or inclusive victory. We can either call people names online or we can call them into our movement. We can either tighten a narrow and hardcore base or open the tent to a new, broad, big-hearted American coalition. This is our shot, our only shot, to beat Donald Trump. So I’m asking Americans to make sure we make the right choice.”
With 50 percent of the precincts reporting, Sanders had 46.6 percent of the vote, while Former Vice President Joe Biden came in second with 19.2 percent. Coming in third was former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg who had 15.4 percent while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is in fourth place with 10.3 percent.