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Pete Buttigieg speaks at a Feb. 29 event in Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced in his hometown that he was suspending his 2020 campaign, many of his former Democratic presidential rivals were lining up to pay tribute to him.

The big picture: Democratic front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Carolina primary winner Joe Biden were among those lauding Buttigieg. Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar — who clashed with Buttigieg over issues including immigration during a fiery Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas last month — had nothing but praise for him.

What they're saying:

Sanders told reporters he wanted to congratulate Buttigieg "for running a brilliant campaign. ... He is the first openly gay candidate for president of the United States and he did extraordinarily well," Sanders said, per Bloomberg. "And tonight, I just want to welcome all of his supporters into our movement, and to urge them to [join] us in the fight for real change in this country."

Biden tweeted, "Pete Buttigieg ran a historic, trail-blazing campaign based on courage, compassion, and honesty. We will be a better country for his continued service. This is just the beginning of his time on the national stage."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted, "Thank you. ... I know you'll continue giving back and serving our country for many years to come."

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg tweeted, "[Buttigieg] ran a strong campaign that inspired audiences and made history. His dedication to serving our nation — as a mayor and veteran — reflected a love of country I deeply admire. Our party is stronger and our nation is better because of his run."

Klobuchar tweeted: "Pete Buttigieg has run an inspiring and historic campaign. I have so much respect for you ... and know there are great things ahead. And both John and I are big fans of Chasten!"

Go deeper: Super Tuesday suddenly looks different

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines.
  2. Health: Lessons for trapping the next pandemic.
  3. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  4. Politics: Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  5. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses — In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine its hardly using.
Dave Lawler, author of World
33 mins ago - World

In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine it's hardly using

Macron, Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel (R) at a summit in October. Photo: Yves Herman/Pool/AFP via Getty

Italy on Thursday blocked the export of 250,000 AstraZeneca doses to Australia, becoming the first EU country to exercise an export ban due to a vaccine shortfall in the bloc.

Why it matters: The controversial step exposes multiple major challenges to distributing vaccines — even among the world’s richest countries.

Dave Lawler, author of World
57 mins ago - World

Global freedom continues steady decline: report

The global erosion of democracy has continued for a 15th consecutive year, according to an annual report from Freedom House.

Zoom in: The report calls particular attention to India, which slipped from “free” to “partly free” due to the government's “scapegoating of Muslims” and “crackdown on critics.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is, according to the report, “driving India itself toward authoritarianism.”