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Pete Buttigieg had breakfast with Jimmy Carter before ending his White House bid

Posted March 1, 2020 2:47 p.m. EST
Updated March 1, 2020 8:49 p.m. EST

Pete Buttigieg had breakfast with Jimmy Carter before ending his White House bid

— Former President Jimmy Carter sat down to an early morning breakfast with Pete Buttigieg Sunday in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, before the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor ended his campaign for President Sunday night.

Asked what he thinks of Buttigieg, Carter praised the former mayor and shared some candid commentary on his fight for the Democratic Party's nomination. The pair were joined by their spouses for the morning meal at the Buffalo Café.

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"I've liked him since I first met him. Year before last we built houses for Habitat for Humanity in South Bend, Indiana, because he was there," Carter told reporters. "We got to know him then and I've liked him ever since."

Before Buttigieg's exit, Carter nodded to his uncertain path ahead, saying, "He doesn't know what he's going to do after South Carolina."

Buttigieg responded with a good-natured chuckle.

"Every day we'll do the math," he said. "We so enjoyed having the Carters in South Bend." Buttigieg would end up deciding to exit his campaign Sunday night in his hometown.

The former mayor entered Saturday's South Carolina contest in second place in the delegate count, but following a disappointing finish in the Palmetto State that netted him no new delegates, he trailed former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with just 26 delegates.

In a gaggle with reporters, Buttigieg conceded Biden's surge in South Carolina was a significant one, telling CNN, "Certainly, the vice president's victory last night in South Carolina was convincing, and it reflected the goodwill that he's built up over years and decades, and of course the effect of the Whip (Democratic South Carolina Rep. Jim) Clyburn supporting him and the campaign that they ran."

This story has been updated to reflect that Buttigieg ended his presidential bid Sunday night.

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