Trump Mocks Buttigieg, Klobuchar Endorsements of Biden: ‘That’s Called Quid Pro Quo’

Patrick Goodenough | March 3, 2020 | 4:22am EST
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Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar have both endorsed Joe Biden. (Photo by Joshua Lott, Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)
Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar have both endorsed Joe Biden. (Photo by Joshua Lott, Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

( – Having some fun at Joe Biden’s expense on the eve of Super Tuesday, President Trump wondered aloud whether the Democratic presidential candidate had offered administration posts in return for former rivals’ endorsements – and added, “that’s called quid pro quo.”

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) both have ended their campaigns for the White House. On Monday both Buttigieg and Klobuchar endorsed Biden in a contest that looks increasingly like a two-horse race between the former vice president and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

As he left the White House for a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina – one of the 14 Super Tuesday primary states – Trump suggested that the Democratic establishment was trying to fix the contest in favor of Biden.

“I think it’s rigged against Bernie,” he said, then alluded to the endorsements by Klobuchar and Buttigieg.

“And probably they’ll say, ‘Hey look, if I win I’ll put you in the administration.’ That’s called quid pro quo, right? Quid pro quo.”

“I’m sure nothing like that has ever happened, right?” Trump said. “But that’s the way it seems to go. But no, it’s rigged against Bernie, there’s no question about it. Sounds like it’s a little bit unfair.”

“Quid pro quo,” the Latin expression meaning “something for something” – essentially a favor for a favor – featured prominently in the Democrats’ charges that Trump had withheld military aid from Ukraine in return for corruption investigations into Biden. The allegation was at the core of the House impeachment of the president.

For his part, Trump accused Biden of a quid pro quo, saying that while vice president he tried to disrupt a corruption probe targeting the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, by pressuring the Ukrainian government to fire its prosecutor general, at a time when Biden’s son, Hunter was on the company’s board.

Trump has used the term “quid pro quo” in more than 40 tweets since last September, relating both to the Democrats’ claims about him, and to his claims about Biden and Burisma.

At his rally in Charlotte on Monday night, Trump returned to the subject of the Buttigieg and Klobuchar endorsements.

“Sounds like they made a deal, you know? They both supported Sleepy Joe. You know why? They made a deal. You know why? Quid pro quo.”

“They made a deal,” he said. “Impeach them!”

In a new campaign fundraising ad, Sanders says that the more primaries he wins, “the more the opposition is surfacing.”

“And it’s not just from Trump and the Republican establishment. It’s from the Democratic establishment as well,” he says. “We’ve got negative ads coming against us. There are super PACs coming against us. We got billionaires coming against us.”

“So we need as much help as we can get to win on Super Tuesday,” Sanders says in the ad. “We are making real progress. We’re on the verge of winning this whole damn thing.”


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