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Buttigieg: I Welcome A Fight With Trump Over Who "Has A More Traditional Attitude On Marriage"
Posted By Tim Hains On Date May 5, 2019
DONNY DEUTSCH: You have had a stunning, stunning beginning to your campaign. The press is just nonstop. Latest TIME Magazine cover, a fantastic cover. You and your husband. Now, as a strategist, I might pull you aside after that and say, "Mayor Pete, that a very defining attribute, you and your husband on the cover." You being gay, as a defining versus just one of your core attributes. I would say, as a strategist, maybe we don't want that to be the defining attribute, but one of your core attributes. Would you push back on me on that?
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: That is something you think about when you're presenting yourself to a broader public, but I try not to overthink introducing who I am, and all the things that make me who I am. My marriage is one of them, my experience in the military is one of them, the fact of coming from the Midwest is one of them. My Catholic high schooling and my Episcopalian faith and everything in between is all a part of who I am.
At the end of the day, it is not going to be about me. I think this election needs to not be about the candidates nearly as much as it is about the voters. While I'm certainly not going to hesitate to introduce myself and where I come from so people understand how my values are shaped and what I care about, at the end of the day the bulk of this campaign has to be about voters, about Americans, and about every day life. On things from wages and health care to things like climate and immigration, our everyday lives will go differently and better if we have better leadership in the White House.
DEUTSCH: I want to talk about the Pete Buttigieg brand. How would you describe it?
BUTTIGIEG: Again, I don't think it's about me but I would say --
DEUTSCH: For voters to understand who you are in your ideal way this is who I am.
BUTTIGIEG: Well, I guess I have a story of being somebody whose life was shaped by the dynamics around me. I come from one of those communities in the industrial midwest where young people grew up getting this message that success had to mean leaving, which is what so many people not only in the industrial communities like mine but the rural communities and even some neighborhoods of America's biggest cities had that experience. And that's kind of what I did. When I was 18, I couldn't get out of town fast enough. And yet in returning and eventually serving as mayor of my hometown I also saw how much matters in what happens in Washington, the way that good leadership or bad leadership in D.C. could make my job, serving my community easier or harder.
And also in my personal life. You know, I'm somebody who by virtue of whether it's the fact that I was deployed to serve in a foreign conflict on the orders of the president, or the fact that I'm from a family that experienced some really challenging medical issues with my parents, and financially absolutely dependent on Medicare as a way to make sure we could navigate those issues without being bankrupt, or just as somebody who gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night knowing my marriage, most important thing in my life exists by the grace of a single vote in the Supreme Court. I'm somebody who can forever forget what's at stake in the decision that are made in Washington. And I come at them from the perspective not of who got the best zinger in the committee hearing, but through the perspective of how this is shaping our lives.
DEUTSCH: Here's what I love about your brand, and why I think you're one of the three anti-Trumps, I only think there are three candidates that can really own that brand -- is that your resume, a Harvard grad, a vet, traditional in an untraditional way, religious, Rhodes scholar. You bring out hope and the better angels in all of us. When I read about you, I'm like I'm not doing so good in my life, I can do better. And to me, that is the ultimate antithesis to Trump who as a human certainly at least from my vantage point, is the polar opposite of that. To me, that decency, that core excellence of humanity is what separates you and I think is the essence of your brand, that we could aspire to be not only as a country but as a person.
BUTTIGIEG: Well, I don't mean to put myself forward as an excellent specimen but I do agree that there's a need for us to recognize that a big part of leadership is just calling forth what's best in us, and right now we've got leadership that draws out the worst in us, draws out the absolute worst in supporters and opponents sometimes, and we need something different, we need a different way. And this is traditionally more of a conservative thing to say, but that moral leadership really matters, character really matters.
And I think we need to hold our president to a very high standard and want to put forward a case that each of us competing for that job ought to be looked at in those terms.
DEUTSCH: Obviously you were watching Trump long before you ran for office. Tell me what kind of human being you think he is, because to me your humanity is obviously the excellence of it, and Donald Trump as a person, not as a candidate, not as a president, what do you see there? Tell me what you see in that human being?
BUTTIGIEG: I've never met him and I've never spoken with him so all I have to go off of is the way he conducts himself and the way he approaches this office. I guess what I see is a lot of self-orientation.
DEUTSCH: I describe the president as a bad man, as in some ways an evil man, a callous man, as someone with very little conscience, no compassion. Are you too nice? I want a candidate and I think we need a candidate when I ask them is this a decent human being, is there something wrong here, I want those harder punches from you. And why are you holding back? I do know just by looking at your life and how you've lived your life how you must feel as a human being? So I'm going to give you one more shot to take a tougher punch.
BUTTIGIEG: Look, my emotions about this president are not what's going to matter most. I'm not interested in expressing my anger about him, as much as I am in defeating and ending his presidency. If we want to have a debate with him, or a fight over any number of things from the difference between how I approach service and the way he did. The fact that I was packing my bags for Afghanistan when he was filming season seven of "Celebrity Apprentice," we could have that fight. And if somebody who wants to raise the question of which one of us has a more traditional attitude on marriage, we can have that fight.
But at the end of the day, it's not about him, it's not about me, it's about you. Not you, our host this evening, but the voter. We need to make sure we're taking it, because here's the thing about this president, because he has the ability to take any attention that comes his way, including attacks and criticism, and just kind of devour it, and so we could intentionally be feeding the beast by competing to see who's the one going to be landing the biggest punch, the best zinger, and the reality if you step back and think about the mentality, that's an environment where it's almost like he's the one we're trying to impress.
Hey. BUTTegieg. Stick a gerbil up your rectum and 'fight' to keep it from escaping.
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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