Pete Buttigieg on Principles & Values



Ensure that America's future is better than its past

Pete belongs to the generation that came of age with school shootings, the generation that provided the majority of the troops in the conflicts after 9/11, the generation that is on the business end of climate change, and the generation that-- unless we take action--stands to be the first to be worse off economically than their parents.

Pete is laying out a vision, values, and policies to ensure that America's future is better than its past. We need to secure a future in which every American has the freedom to live a life of their choosing; where our republic grows more and not less democratic; where racial justice is a reality and not a dream; where we've put an end to endless war; where we've summoned the national will to meet the challenge of climate change; where everyone has the health care they need; and where everyone has the chance to find purpose and belonging in our economy and our country.

Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website PeteForAmerica.com , May 2, 2019

We cannot find greatness in the past

There is no 'again' in the real world. WE CANNOT FIND GREATNESS IN THE PAST.

There is no honest politics that revolves around the word 'again.' In the era of automation and globalization, major changes are going to happen whether we're ready or not. The question isn't: "Can we stop these changes and go back to the past?" The question needs to be: "How can we make sure these changes work for us?" America is at its best when we master change for the benefit of every American.

Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website PeteForAmerica.com , May 2, 2019

God does not have a political party

I believe strongly in the separation of church and state and I think anybody who steps into the public sphere needs to make it clear that they're here to support people of any religion and people of no religion. God does not have a political party.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 22, 2019

If I had been given a choice, I would have not been gay

Speaking at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch, Buttigieg said, "If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade," making a direct appeal to religious beliefs.

Buttigieg spoke emotionally of his journey toward accepting his sexuality. "If you had offered me a pill to me straight, I would have swallowed it before you could had time to get me a sip of water. It's a hard thing to think about now. It's hard to face the truth that there were times in my life when if you had shown me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife."

What a loss that would have been for him, he said. "If I had had the chance to do that, I would never have found my way to Chasten," he said referring to husband Chasten Buttigieg, whom he married in June. "Thank god there was no pill," he said. "Thank god there was no knife."

Source: People e-zine "LGBTQ History," on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls , Apr 9, 2019

Supports religious values and separation of church and state

Pete Buttigieg wants his party to embrace religion but not at the expense of excluding others. He said the Democratic Party has sometimes become distant from religion, but it's "a side effect of something healthy" because of commitment to the separation of church and state, and the belief that it speaks for people of any faith and of no faith equally. "I think there's an opportunity hopefully for religion to be not so much used as a cudgel but invoked as a way of calling us to higher values."
Source: Washington Post on 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 29, 2019

Progressive, but not concerned with labels

I think more and more people just want to know what your ideas are and whether they make any sense. And part of how we were able to succeed in South Bend, governing, I believe in accordance with progressive values, but also earning a lot of support from Republicans and independents wasn't by trying to manage exactly where I was on this kind of left/right spectrum, it was by trying to do the right thing. I view myself as a progressive, but these labels are becoming less and less useful.
Source: Fox News Sunday 2019 interviews for 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 19, 2019

Would be youngest president ever, and first mayor

If elected, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would achieve a number of presidential firsts--the youngest president, aged 37, the first mayor elected directly to the White House, the first Afghanistan War veteran and the first openly gay president.

His biggest obstacle: The possible "firsts" are also obstacles. He's young. And the mayor's office of a small Indiana town, with its small constituency, is an unlikely seat from which to launch a presidential campaign. Mr Buttigieg will be hard-pressed to break through against better-funded, more experienced candidates. Chances are, however, he'll still be around in politics long after many of them are gone and he thinks his age is a plus. "It allows me to communicate to the country a vision about what our country is going to look like in 2054," he said. "That's the year I get to the current age of the current president."

Source: BBC.com on 2020 Democratic primary contenders at 2019 SXSW , Mar 12, 2019

Yes, young, but more government experience than Pres. Trump

Buttigieg rebutted questions about his age by saying he has the experience to be president. Buttigieg appeared at the town hall without a jacket, the decision that made him look even younger than he does, a fact he often jokes about on the campaign trail.

When asked why he thinks, at 37 years old, he is qualified to be President, Buttigieg replied he had the experience, another answer that hit the Trump administration. "I have more years of government experience under my belt than the President. That's a low bar. I know that. I also have had more years of executive government experience than the vice president," he said.

"I get I'm the young guy in the conversation, but experience is what qualifies me to have a seat at this table," he concluded.

Source: CNN KFile on 2019 SXSW conference in Austin , Mar 11, 2019

National service can unite Americans

There's something about serving which is that it brings you together with other Americans. We learned to trust each other with our lives, even though our politics in our lives back home were so different. And I think we need to get back to that. I'm a big believer in expanding opportunities for national service. We need more of those experiences that can bring us together, even when we have nothing in common, except the fact that we're American.
Source: CNN Town Hall: back-to-back 2020 presidential hopefuls , Mar 10, 2019

1990s: Nominated Bernie Sanders for Profile in Courage award

At the urging of my teachers, I had submitted an entry to an essay contest sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library as part of their annual Profile in Courage Award.

An obscure Vermont congressman, Bernie Sanders, had been reelected for years as a socialist--in a (then) generally Republican state. "Socialist" was the dirtiest word in politics, yet he won because people saw that he came by his values honestly. Regardless of whether you agreed politically, it certainly seemed like a profile in courage to me. Candidates for office can easily develop "an ability to outgrow their convictions in order to win power," and that Sanders was an inspiring exception.

I wrote that Sanders's "real impact has been as a reaction to the cynical climate which threatens the effectiveness of the democratic system."

I had won first prize, and would be flown to the library in Boston to meet the award committee and accept the scholarship money that went along with it.

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 30-1 , Feb 12, 2019

2000: worked for Gore, but Bush was same on domestic policy

[In 2000 as Harvard student], I volunteered for Al Gore's campaign that fall, chauffeuring guests around Boston during the run-up to the presidential debate there, but the sense among many students was that Bush and Gore were barely distinguishable on domestic policy: center-left versus center-right. The biggest campaign-related excitement was the arrival of riot police on the outskirts of the debate site to contend with Green Party protesters who were marching and chanting, "Let Ralph [Nader] debate." When Bush ultimately prevailed in the Supreme Court and claimed the presidency, it still felt like little would change from the Clinton era.
Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 39-40 , Feb 12, 2019

Name recognition is key; his is pronounced "Buddha-judge"

[Buttigieg ran for state treasurer in 2010; he lost]. Campaigning for office is enormously difficult, but in a way, it's not very complicated. You have to persuade voters to vote or you, raise money so you can reach more voters, and get other people to help you do those two things. Half the battle is name recognition, and my biggest problem was that no one had any idea who I was. My name was unfamiliar and unpronounceable. My campaign manager Jeff Harris and I spent half a day just figuring out how to render it phonetically, settling on the breakdown "Budda Judge," which was close enough and easier to remember than any other way we could think to write down. Plus I was twenty-seven years old, and baby-faced enough to pass for a college student. In a campaign office, I would be more likely to be taken for an intern or perhaps a young organizer than an actual candidate. My family had no Indiana political connections, and neither did my employer.
Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 90-3 , Feb 12, 2019

My success shows that Democrats can win in Flyover Country

To some, the 2016 election was a kind of revenge by "flyover country," long ignored by the coastal elite in general and by the Democratic party in particular. I certainly felt that our region had been ignored and misunderstood, but to me that did not have to lead to this kind of electoral outcome; our own story in South Bend showed that honest and optimistic politics could resonate just as well in economically challenged communities.

I wasn't the only one who thought this way, and said so, after the 2016 election astonished and traumatized my party. It crossed my mind to run for chair of the Democratic National Committee. Who better than a millennial, Midwestern mayor to try to guide the party in a better direction?

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p.305-6 , Feb 12, 2019

For DNC chair: "A Letter from Flyover Country"

Running for chair made sense, from a generational, regional, and structural perspective. And because I belonged to no faction, it seemed I would help the party transcend an emerging internal struggle between its establishment wing and its new left.

I wrote an essay on the future of the party, called, "A Letter from Flyover Country," and published it online. Seeking to offer a Midwestern, millennial mayor's perspective on where our party had gone wrong and how we could do better, the essay suggested a values-oriented approach and a much greater concentration on the stories and lived experience of Americans getting through life in our hometowns. I also believed that this kind of approach could move us beyond a superficial political strategy based on capturing constituency groups individually, with no unifying theme.

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p.306-8 , Feb 12, 2019

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Pete Buttigieg on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Larry Hogan (D-MD)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Gov.Bill Weld (R-MA&L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
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Page last updated: Jun 02, 2019