Pete Buttigieg

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
Jump to  stances on the issues
Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the presidential race on March 1, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Buttigieg has positioned himself as a moderate and has called for generational change in political leadership. The second-term mayor is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and was a Rhodes scholar.
Harvard College, B.A., 2004; University of Oxford, Rhodes scholar, 2007
January 19, 1982
Chasten Buttigieg
US Navy Reserve, 2009-2017;
Consultant at McKinsey and Co., 2007-2010
Biden adopts signature tactics from former primary rivals as he prepares for general election against Trump
Updated 10:00 AM ET, Sat May 23, 2020
Joe Biden is adopting some of his former Democratic presidential primary rivals' best-known tactics as he seeks to bridge the party's gaps headed into his general election match-up against President Donald Trump. He consulted with Pete Buttigieg as his campaign turned the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor's "Rules of the Road" -- a set of values for his campaign and its supporters -- into Biden's own new "Campaign Code." Last week he dialed supporters with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for whom the tactic -- and the videos it helped produce on social media -- was a keystone as she shunned traditional high-dollar fundraisers. And he and Buttigieg hosted a virtual "grassroots" fundraiser, a small-dollar event modeled after the events Buttigieg often held, on Friday. The efforts offer Biden a chance to tap into the popularity and excitement surrounding his former rivals. Part of the aim, a Biden adviser said, is to appeal to the cultural components of past campaigns that are important to those supporters while also maintaining an authentic feeling for Biden and his campaign. Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race It all comes as Biden's campaign morphs from a largely offline primary effort, where support from older voters, especially African Americans, catapulted him to the Democratic nomination, into one that is attempting to unite the party and gear up for what the coronavirus pandemic could force to be a general election battle that's fought over the internet and airwaves. "Our campaign continues to grow stronger because we are adopting some of the smartest, most effective tactics used during the primary, and we're grateful to our friends on other campaigns who have helped us do that," said TJ Ducklo, national press secretary for the Biden campaign. "It's because of this kind of cooperation and unity that we will beat Donald Trump this November." The calls with Warren and the code borrowed from Buttigieg both align with the image of Biden that his campaign has sought to portray: an empathetic figure who is motivated by the personal connections he makes and stories he hears on the campaign trail. "These tactics work because they're authentic to Joe Biden," said Lis Smith, the Buttigieg strategist who said she and other former staffers have been in contact with Biden's campaign. "It doesn't come across as pandering. He's doing it in a way that is authentic to him and that is authentic to his campaign, and that's why I think it's so powerful," she said. Adopting some of his former rivals' tactics is part of Biden's broader effort to bring Democrats together after a bruising primary campaign. Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, his strongest rival in the party's primary, have assembled a series of working groups on policy issues. Biden's team has been deliberate in welcoming supporters of past opponents. This includes helping produce graphics for members of Buttigieg's "Team Pete" and Kamala Harris' "KHive" now on board with the former vice president's campaign -- a move that allows those people to maintain their identities as supporters of Biden's former rivals while lining up behind the party's choice to take on Trump. As a gesture of thanks to Buttigieg's supporters on Super Tuesday, the Biden campaign's press shop learned a dance to the song "High Hopes" by Panic! at the Disco, which had become a light-hearted joke among Buttigieg's followers. And Biden himself sought to extend olive branches to Sanders' supporters as the primary wound down, frequently praising the Vermont senator and courting his supporters in speeches. Buttigieg's "Rules of the Road" were the first prominent example of Biden -- who has had to grow his staff for the general election while at home in Delaware, with aides working from their homes, as well -- adopting a former rival's tactics. Biden and Buttigieg have spoken several times in recent months, and Biden's campaign asked for Buttigieg's feedback and sign-off before making public its "Campaign Code." "It was really smart to have Pete that involved in this process, because it signals to Pete's supporters that the Biden campaign wasn't just paying Pete's campaign and Pete's supporters lip service," Smith said. This week Buttigieg emailed his campaign's list to invite them to his first grassroots fundraiser with Biden. It's the sort of event that could bring new online donors into Biden's campaign -- and allow the campaign to hit those donors again and again for contributions. "Grassroots fundraisers are really important to me. They are based on the idea that the experience of a political fundraiser, often regarded as high-dollar closed-door events in the past, should be equally available to folks chipping in $5, $25 at a time," he said. Biden's embrace of his rival's campaigns extends to policy and staffing as well. Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon, who took over leading the team in March, initially ran former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke's presidential bid. And several other O'Rourke staffers now fill prominent roles in Biden's campaign. This week, Biden's campaign announced the hiring of Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the former co-national political director for the Harris campaign, as a senior adviser focusing on Latino outreach and state operations. The campaign recently beefed up its digital team by adding senior advisers from the campaigns of Harris, O'Rourke and Warren. Biden's advisers maintain frequent contact with the teams of former opponents. Rob Flaherty, Biden's digital director who is an alum of O'Rourke's campaign, has coordinated digital and social media efforts, and a trio of top advisers -- Cristóbal Alex, Stef Feldman and Symone Sanders -- work with outside groups and former rivals' teams on policy issues. Biden has already made policy overtures to past campaigns, including embracing Warren's bankruptcy plan and teaming up with the Massachusetts senator to highlight possible corruption in the Trump administration's coronavirus relief efforts. He's credited Sanders and his supporters for "laying the groundwork" on two of Biden's recent policy commitments -- lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60 and forgiving student loan debt for low-income and middle-class borrowers who attended public colleges and universities, historically black colleges and universities, and other institutions geared toward students of color. The Biden and Sanders' teams have set up unity task forces aiming to work together on six key policy areas. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an ardent Sanders supporter, is co-chairing the group focusing on climate change along with Biden backer former Secretary of State John Kerry. As Democrats turn their attention to the general election, the Biden campaign is working to maximize the use of former rivals in virtual fundraising and events. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Buttigieg, Harris and Klobuchar have all participated in recent fundraisers for the former vice president. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Harris, Klobuchar and O'Rourke, have headlined virtual campaign events and calls for the campaign. Klobuchar, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and Andrew Yang have appeared on Biden's podcast "Here's the Deal." Biden made his own calls to grassroots donors occasionally during the primary, but he's aimed to make those personalized calls more frequently since he became the presumptive Democratic nominee. Like Warren once did, his team dangles the possibility of a call from Biden in many of its fundraising pitches. Biden and Warren recently teamed up to call those grassroots donors together. "I wanted to call to say thank you for contributing to Vice President Biden's campaign. You're one of the people we're counting on," Warren said in a video of the calls. "Today I've got a special guest ... take it away Joe." "Carroll, this is Joe Biden," the former vice president said. "I was kidding with the senator a moment ago. I said, you know I used to call my contributors, but I never had as many until she endorsed me," said Biden. "I'm counting on her a great deal not just for her endorsement, but for her ideas and her leadership."
climate crisis
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Buttigieg released a plan in September 2019 that aims to move the US to clean energy and agriculture, shield existing communities and industries from the effects of climate change and lead a global response to the crisis. He calls for the Department of Defense to set up a Climate Watch Floor and would create a new senior climate security role within the department. He aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, pledging to invest $25 billion annually in research by 2025 – a move he compares to the Manhattan Project – and to set a price on carbon, generating money that would be returned to Americans as a dividend. He says his plan would generate 3 million new jobs as the economy transitions to clean energy production. Buttigieg pledges to spend $5 billion annually on grants for rural communities and ensure that new infrastructure “can withstand extreme weather and sea level rise.” He calls for integrating climate change into national security planning. Buttigieg supports the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. He has also proposed his own plan, which would impose a carbon tax on corporations and polluters and pass on the money raised from that tax to Americans as a dividend. Buttigieg has said he would rejoin the Paris climate accord, the landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. Buttigieg says he wants to ensure the US – “not China” – will lead the climate response globally, and suggests he’d use sanctions to push other countries to adopt carbon-pricing programs. He has also said that while the Paris accord is critical, he would like to hold a “Pittsburgh summit” within his first 100 days as president, where cities would come together to work on curbing emissions. More on Buttigieg’s climate crisis policy
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On the campaign trail, Buttigieg has clearly stated his view that manufacturing jobs are not returning to their previous levels because of factors like automation. In July 2019, he introduced a plan aimed at protecting workers and putting big tech companies firmly in the hot seat. Buttigieg would guarantee the right to join a union for all American workers including gig economy workers – like Uber and Lyft drivers, who are considered independent contractors and not employees of the companies. Buttigieg is no fan of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and has suggested that it caused significant and largely irreversible job loss. He has also focused on the need for the federal government to spur entrepreneurship in underserved communities. He has proposed having the government “triple the number of entrepreneurs from underserved areas – particularly ones of color – within 10 years” by offering grants and incentivizing investment in underserved areas and overhauling credit scoring as a way to open up credit opportunities for traditionally underserved communities. In August 2019, Buttigieg rolled out a proposal to provide $500 million in federal funding for “Regional Innovation Clusters.” Those would allow state and local governments to take the lead on developing economic projects based on the specific needs of individual rural communities through a grant program judged by a panel of entrepreneurs across the country. Buttigieg pledges up to $5 billion to expand apprenticeship networks across the country “to ensure an apprenticeship program in a growing industry is available within 30 miles of every American,” including underserved rural areas. Buttigieg seeks to create “Community Renewal visas,” with the aim of attracting high-skilled immigrants with the promise of attaining green cards at the end of three-year residencies in rural communities. Buttigieg also supports raising the federal hourly minimum wage to $15 and passing paid family and medical leave. More on Buttigieg’s economic policy
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Buttigieg – who, along with his husband, Chasten, has student loan debt that combined amounts to six figures – does not support making college tuition-free. He argues that lower- and middle-income families should benefit from tuition-free public college but not the children of the wealthy, or, as he put it once, “even the children of billionaires.” Buttigieg has looked to tie education affordability to his national service plan. The mayor, who himself served in the Navy Reserve, said his administration would provide support and incentives for students who decide to go into a service field before or after college. Buttigieg says he supports charter schools in some instances, but he said in Iowa earlier this year that “for-profit charter schools should not be our vision for the future.” His plan to combat racial inequality in the United States would increase resources to historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions by $25 billion. More on Buttigieg’s education policy
gun violence
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Buttigieg released a plan in August 2019 that would increase federal funding to combat hate and violent extremism, boost federal research into gun violence and work with social media companies to stem incendiary rhetoric online. He would dedicate $1 billion to law enforcement, including increasing the FBI’s field staff, for “sufficient resources to counter the growing tide of white nationalist violence.” Those funds would also be reinvested in Department of Homeland Security efforts to fight extremism, violence and hate. Buttigieg supports universal background checks. He has also backed a nationwide gun licensing system and a ban on the sale of so-called assault weapons. As mayor of South Bend, he’s long had a focus on reducing gun violence. Buttigieg joined the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group of more than 1,000 current and former mayors advocating stricter gun laws, in 2013 and supported the South Bend Group Violence Intervention, a program aimed at combating gun violence in the city.Buttigieg often talks about gun laws through a personal lens. As the youngest candidate in the 2020 race, he grew up in an era when school shootings have become common. As a veteran, he has training and experience with weapons. More on Buttigieg’s gun violence policy
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Buttigieg supports what he calls “Medicare for all who want it” – an idea that he says is a pathway to the “Medicare for All” proposal backed by other candidates, which would create a national government health care plan and essentially eliminate the private insurance industry. Under Buttigieg’s plan, private health insurance would still exist for consumers. Buttigieg also focuses on health care in his Douglass Plan, aimed at combating inequality for African Americans. He plans to diversify the medical workforce and create “health equity zones” to address health care disparities in certain geographic locations. In August 2019, he proposed a plan to improve health care access in rural communities by waiving visa requirements to attract immigrant doctors, increasing access to telehealth services by expanding high speed internet and creating a new office within the Department of Health and Human Services. Buttigieg plans to reduce maternal mortality rates by funding pre-maternity homes and offering subsidies for housing and transportation. He would also extend Medicaid coverage for one-year postpartum. Currently, Medicaid typically covers only 60 days of postpartum care. In October 2019, Buttigieg released a plan aimed at reducing prescription drug costs and jump-starting pharmaceutical innovation. The plan, titled “Affordable Medicine for All,” would penalize pharmaceutical companies that raise prices by more than the rate of inflation and by increasing the annual Branded Prescription Drug Fee, a section of the Affordable Care Act that sets an annual fee according to each manufacturer’s share of drug sales that goes to government programs like Medicare Part D and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Buttigieg also released an LGBTQ rights plan that proposes eradicating HIV/AIDS by 2030, ensuring access to the HIV drug PrEP for all who need it, finding a cure for AIDS and ensuring health insurance providers cover trans-specific medical care. More on Buttigieg’s health care policy
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Buttigieg has said he wants a comprehensive immigration plan, which would include providing a pathway to citizenship for those who received Obama-era protections for undocumented immigrants, including people brought to the US as minors. He also calls for addressing the backlogs in the immigration and asylum processes and having “reasonable” security measures at the US-Mexico border. “I don’t have a problem with enhanced border security, perhaps to include fencing,” Buttigieg told PBS in February 2019. He suggested border security cannot be simplified with “just putting up a wall from sea to shining sea.” He has also proposed ending family separation at the border and evaluating practices from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US Customs and Border Protection “to ensure similar humanitarian crises never happen again.” More on Buttigieg’s immigration policy
A CNN crew has been arrested while covering Minneapolis protests, and the governor has apologized
Updated 7:33 AM ET, Fri May 29, 2020
A CNN crew was arrested by Minnesota state police Friday morning while giving a live television report in Minneapolis, where the crew was covering ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd -- an arrest that has drawn an apology from the state's governor. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz told CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker that he deeply apologizes for what happened, and that he is working to have the CNN crew released immediately. The crew, including correspondent Omar Jimenez, were handcuffed and detained as Jimenez gave a live report on a Minneapolis street shortly after 5 a.m. CT (6 a.m. ET). Police told the crew they were being detained because they were told to move, and didn't, one member of the CNN crew relayed to the network. "A CNN reporter and his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves -- a clear violation of their First Amendment rights. The authorities in Minnesota, including the Governor, must release the three CNN employees immediately," CNN said in a statement. Officers approached the crew -- which also included producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez -- as they moved in to arrest a protester behind them. Jimenez could be seen holding his CNN badge while reporting, identifying himself as a reporter, and telling the officers the crew would move wherever officers needed them to. An officer gripped his arm as Jimenez talked, then put him in handcuffs. "We can move back to where you like. We are live on the air here. ... Put us back where you want us. We are getting out of your way -- wherever you want us (we'll) get out of your way," Jimenez said before he was led away. "We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection," Jimenez said. After the CNN photographer was arrested, his camera was set on the ground and continued to transmit live images. Jimenez and the crew had been reporting from the site, near a city police department precinct that protesters had burned and officers had abandoned overnight. About a block away, a fire was burning at a different, four-story building that had contained restaurants. Over 100 state police officers in body armor and riot gear had arrived shortly before 5 a.m. CT and lined up near the area where the CNN crew was, near the precinct building on East Lake Street. For a portion of time overnight -- from sometime after city police abandoned the precinct building that was set ablaze -- police weren't in the area until the troopers arrived Friday morning, Jimenez had reported. The four-story event and restaurant building was burning unabated, and people were throwing things into the flames, Jimenez said. A separate CNN reporter there was not arrested and 'treated much differently' CNN's Josh Campell, who also was in the area but not standing with the on-air crew, said he, too, was approached by police, but was allowed to remain. "I identified myself ... they said, 'OK, you're permitted to be in the area,'" recounted Campbell, who is white. "I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was." Jimenez is black and Latino. Former Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey, a CNN law enforcement analyst, said the arrest made no sense. "State police are going to have a lot to answer for this arrest here," Ramsey said. "(Jimenez is) standing there ... you can see his credential. Just move him where you want to be." "They should have a designated (media) area, and just tell them to move to that area."