The San Diego Union-Tribune endorsed former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE in the Democratic primary race in an editorial published Thursday. 

The editorial board described it as a close call between Buttigieg and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.), two of the leading moderates in the race. Klobuchar has been endorsed by dozens of editorial boards, including The New York Times, which also endorsed Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.).

“It’s close, but in the view of The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board, Buttigieg is best suited to beat Trump because of his centrist policies, his military experience, his (admittedly small-scale) executive experience and the enthusiasm he’s inspired, with better fundraising and national polling, bigger campaign crowds and more news coverage than Klobuchar,” the board wrote.

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“He has shown he can manage a national campaign successfully. And in a nation that only legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, his message of generational change could actually inspire change,” it also said.

California is set to hold its primary on Super Tuesday on March 3 and will award 415 delegates, the biggest haul of that day.

The endorsement comes the day after a heated exchange between the two moderates during the Democratic primary debate on Wednesday, in which Buttigieg hit Klobuchar after she was unable to name the Mexican president during a forum in Nevada earlier this month.

“Are you trying to say that I’m dumb — are you mocking me here, Pete?” Klobuchar said. “I said I made an error; people sometimes forget names. I am the one who has the experience based on passing over 100 bills.”

Klobuchar — along with other 2020 Democrats — have questioned Buttigieg’s experience as a two-term mayor of South Bend.

But the Union-Tribune’s editorial board echoed the responses Buttigieg often gives to those attacks, touting his military experience and record of improving South Bend’s economy while in office. 

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