By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS - Pete Buttigieg endorsed Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination in Dallas on Monday, and the former vice president acted as if he had gained a son.

"There was a goal that was always much bigger than me being president," Buttigieg said as Biden looked on, coming less than 24 hours after he ended his own presidential bid in South Bend Sunday night. "It is in the name of that very same goal that I am delighted to endorse Joe Biden for president. I do it with great pleasure in knowing what we need to do to win, not just win back the White House, but to win the House and Senate. And we've got to do it in a way that changes the toxic divisive nature of our politics. We can't go on like this."

"We need a politics that is about decency," Buttigieg continued. "That brings back dignity. That's what we sought to practice in my campaign and that's what Joe Biden has been practicing his whole life. What we see in that opportunity is not just to meet that imperative to getting a new and better president, but of doing with a leader that will bring people together with ideas big enough to unite the American people."

"I'm looking for a leader, I'm looking for a president who will draw out what is best in each of us," Buttigieg concluded. "I'm encouraging everybody who participated my campaign to join me because we have found that leader in vice president, soon to be president Joe Biden." 

Buttigieg's endorsement comes on the eve of Super Tuesday, where Biden is hoping to blunt the current front runner, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who the former mayor said if nominated, would be a disaster for the Democratic Party. Buttigieg ended his long shot campaign after he saw his path to the nomination close. He was followed by arch rival Sen. Amy Klobuchar earlier today. The two are now coalescing around the former vice president, who won a decisive victory in South Carolina on Saturday.

A visibly moved Biden then invoked the memory of his son, the late Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden. "I'll tell you what, folks, I can't tell you how much I appreciate Pete's endorsement. This is also a bittersweet moment. There hasn't been a harsh word between us. This is a man who is decent. I don't think I've ever done this before, but he reminds me of my son Beau," Biden said. "To me that's the highest compliment I can pay. Like Beau, he has a backbone like a ramrod."

Biden observed that both he and Buttigieg had been elected for the first time at age 29, Biden to the U.S. Senate and Buttigieg as mayor of South Bend. "Pete knows why he got engaged and why he's there. I am absolutely confident he will stay engaged. I warned Pete that if I were to get the nomination, I would be asking him to join, to be involved in this process. There are a generation of leaders Pete's age and my son Beau, who had unlimited potential."

Biden added that if this happened in "another six years, I wouldn't be standing here; Pete would be standing here and I would be endorsing Pete. Pete knows the role of the president is not just to fight, not just to win, but to heal."