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 This page is no longer being updated.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
Episcopalian
US Navy Reserve, 2009-2017;
Consultant at McKinsey and Co., 2007-2010

BUTTIGIEG IN THE NEWS

Air travel system is 'very brittle,' Buttigieg says. DOT wants to hear traveler complaints
Updated 12:49 PM ET, Wed Aug 10, 2022
Air traffic disruptions have plagued summer travelers, and this past weekend was no exception. Friday was the worst day for cancellations since mid-June, with 1,613 US flights canceled, according to data from flight tracking site FlightAware. And cancellations kept stacking up over the weekend. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is not happy with the continued air travel chaos and is calling on travelers to share their experiences. While Buttigieg acknowledged that severe weather this weekend disrupted air travel, "it shouldn't have created the kind of ripple effects through the system that it did. "That is something that to me is an indication that we still have not seen the improvements that we need, that the system is very brittle," Buttigieg said Wednesday on CNN's New Day. He said the "human factor" is the biggest contributor to snarled air traffic. "Not having enough crew, especially pilots, to do the job. And airlines, of course, have an obligation to service the tickets that they sell," Buttigieg said. Buttigieg met with airlines before July 4, calling for more realistic schedules, more pilot training and more responsive customer service. He said the meeting also addressed how the Federal Aviation Administration could help ease disruptions. Airlines have been preemptively trimming their schedules to ease disruptions. American Airlines announced cuts to September and October flights last week. The Department of Transportation last week proposed a rule that would expand protections for travelers seeking refunds, and the Secretary invited the public to weigh in on the rule and to file complaints when airlines aren't responsive. The proposed rule would more clearly define cases where flights are significantly changed or canceled to provide a clearer path to refunds in addition to creating more pandemic-related consumer protection. 'A good start' The posting of the proposed rule on Regulations.gov had more than 400 comments on Wednesday morning. One commenter, Natalia Villegas, agreed that more consumer protections are needed. "The current ruling of when consumers are entitled to compensation is very vague and makes it almost impossible for the consumer to see any sort of compensation," Villegas wrote, noting a year-long struggle to receive a flight refund. Another commenter said it was "a good start" but that it "doesn't go far enough." That commenter, Carol Poindexter, would like to see monetary compensation for delayed flights. Buttigieg told CNN that his own biggest frustration is with cancellations, noting that his own flight was canceled on Friday. The air traffic chaos has escalated amid soaring fares and a very lucrative quarter for airlines. Buttigieg acknowledged the public's frustration with airlines that have received federal bailouts during the pandemic. "I think a lot of passengers don't understand how more than $50 billion goes to keeping these businesses in business, and then when demand comes back ... they're not prepared to meet or service that demand." He said that while hiring has come back in most areas, airlines are still short on pilots, due in part to early retirements. Recent pay increases instituted by some regional carriers should help recruit and retain more pilots, he said. But the pilot shortage is likely to take some time to remedy, one analyst recently told CNN. "A lot of pilots retired. It's not easy to replace them," said Jim Corridore, senior insights manager for research firm Similarweb. "It's a long process, it's still going to be a year or so to have the airlines have a full schedule that this level of demand will dictate."
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STANCES ON THE ISSUES

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
economy
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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
education
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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
healthcare
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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
immigration
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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

LATEST POLITICAL NEWS

Former President Donald Trump invokes Fifth Amendment rights and declines to answer questions from NY attorney general
Updated 7:02 PM ET, Wed Aug 10, 2022
Former President Donald Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and declined to answer questions from the New York attorney general at a scheduled deposition Wednesday. "Under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution," Trump said in a statement. Trump was to be deposed by lawyers from New York Attorney General Letitia James' office as part of a more than three-year civil investigation into whether the Trump Organization misled lenders, insurers and tax authorities by providing them misleading financial statements. Trump said in a post on Truth Social earlier Wednesday morning that he would be "seeing" James "for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history! My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic!" The scheduled deposition comes during an extraordinary legal week for the former President. On Monday, the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, his primary residence in Florida, in connection with an investigation into the handling of classified documents. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court denied his long-running effort to block a House committee from obtaining his tax returns. Some Trump advisers had advocated that the former President answer questions since he previously testified about his financial statements under oath, while others warned him against providing any answers because of the potential legal jeopardy he may face, people familiar with the matter tell CNN. The Manhattan district attorney has a separate ongoing criminal investigation into the Trump Organization. Another consideration that had been discussed, the people familiar say, is the political implications of not answering questions as Trump is widely expected to announce that he will run for president in 2024. While campaigning in 2016, Trump suggested not answering questions was a sign of guilt. At a campaign stop in Iowa in 2016, Trump said, "If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?" In his statement Wednesday, Trump said, "Now I know the answer to that question" and decried James' investigation. The former President and the Trump Organization have previously denied any wrongdoing. "When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice," the former President stated. The Fifth Amendment guarantees that an individual cannot be compelled by the government to provide information that might be incriminating against themselves. When an individual declines to answer a question by "taking the Fifth," he or she invokes that right. It is not an admission of guilt. "No person shall ... be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself," the Fifth Amendment states. In a statement, the attorney general's office confirmed that Trump took the Fifth and said it will continue to investigate. "While we will not comment on specific details, we can confirm that today, our office conducted a deposition of former president Donald Trump," the office said. "Attorney General Letitia James took part in the deposition during which Mr. Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Attorney General James will pursue the facts and the law wherever they may lead. Our investigation continues." The mood was tense at the outset of the deposition, but later turned cordial and professional, Trump attorney Ronald Fischetti told CNN. Fischetti was present along with co-counsel Alina Habba, a New Jersey-based attorney who has taken over many of Trump's ongoing lawsuits. James, a Democrat, attended the first half of the deposition and made a standard statement about the sworn testimony. At the outset, Fischetti explained that Trump wanted to testify "very badly," but that the former President had accepted his advice not to answer questions. Under oath, Trump confirmed that he wanted to testify but he would not answer questions, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Much of his statement used similar language to the public statement he released earlier Wednesday, referencing a "witch hunt" and the FBI search of his home at Mar-a-Lago. Assistant New York Attorney General Kevin Wallace squared off against Trump, flanked by 10 assistant attorneys general who handed him notes during the interview. The questions focused on valuations placed on various Trump properties that were included in the financial statements, according to Fischetti. When questioned during the roughly four-hour deposition -- not counting breaks -- Trump repeatedly said "same answer" when declining to respond by pleading the Fifth. James left at the lunch break and Trump shook her hand as she was leaving. At the end of the day, when Trump left, he shook the hands of all of the state attorneys, Fischetti said. Investigation and previous depositions In January, James' office said it found "significant" evidence indicating the Trump Organization used false or misleading asset valuations in its financial statements to obtain loans, insurance and tax benefits. The attorney general's civil investigation is nearing the end and a decision over an enforcement action may come soon. The showdown follows Trump's failed attempt to block subpoenas for depositions from him and his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump. Ivanka Trump's deposition took place last week and Trump Jr. had his deposition in late July, people familiar with the matter said. Trump Jr., who runs the Trump Organization with his brother Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump did not assert their Fifth Amendment rights and answered the state's questions, the people said. It is not clear what they were specifically asked or what they said. Their decision breaks with Eric Trump and former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, who both asserted their Fifth Amendment rights more than 500 times when deposed in 2020. Trump has testified under oath in civil lawsuits over the past decades and since leaving office he has also been deposed. Last year he provided videotaped testimony for a lawsuit involving an assault outside of Trump Tower. The case is set to go to trial in the fall. Trump has denied any wrongdoing. Questions about Trump's net worth Trump has been questioned about the accuracy of his net worth and financial statements in previous lawsuits, something some advisers say is one reason why he should answer questions in the current investigation. In a 2007 deposition in a defamation lawsuit, Trump once said he calculated his net worth, to a degree, on his "feelings," and that he put the "best spin" on some of the assets. "I think everybody" exaggerates about the value of their properties, he testified, adding: "Who wouldn't?" Did he inflate values? "Not beyond reason," Trump said. In the past Trump has tried to push responsibility for his valuation decisions onto Weisselberg, while at the same time, documents and depositions appear to show that, even as Trump claimed that he left those valuation decisions to others, he was also deeply involved in running his business. Trump said in the 2007 deposition that the only person he dealt with in preparing the statements of financial condition was Weisselberg. "I would give my opinion," Trump said in the deposition. "We'll talk about it," he said, adding that "ultimately" and "predominately" it was Weisselberg who came up with the final values, which Trump said he viewed as "conservative." When questioned specifically about swings in values from one year to the next Trump had ready explanations. During the deposition, Trump was questioned over the family compound in Westchester County, New York, called Seven Springs where its value nearly doubled in one year from $80 million in 2005 to $150 million in 2006. "The property was valued very low, in my opinion, then and it became very -- it just has gone up," Trump said. He was asked if he had any basis for that view, other than his own opinion. "I don't believe so, no," he said. In addition to Weisselberg, two others involved in the preparation of the financial statements, Jeff McConney, the Trump Organization's controller, and Donald Bender, the real estate firm's external accountant, have both been interviewed by the attorney general's office and Manhattan district attorney. Trump's lawyers are likely to argue that the financial statements were not audited so anyone relying on them would be on notice. The financial statements reviewed by CNN show they have numerous disclosures indicating that they did not conform with generally accepted accounting principles. In addition, none of the lenders lost money on the transactions, which could make it harder to allege that they were defrauded or misled. The appraisals underlying the property values were in many cases provided by Trump's longtime appraiser Cushman & Wakefield, which is also under investigation. Cushman, which broke ties with Trump after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has denied any wrongdoing and stands by its work. Legal risks to Trump The depositions pose significant legal risks to the Trumps. If Trump is sued by James and the case goes to trial, the jury can draw an "adverse inference" against him for not answering questions, which could result in a higher judgment against him if he's found liable. If he answers questions, it could open the door to potential civil and criminal liability. The criminal investigation, led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, has slowed but not stopped. Earlier this year, Bragg would not authorize prosecutors to present evidence before a state grand jury after raising concerns about the strength of the case, CNN has reported. A special grand jury hearing evidence in the case expired in April, but a new one could be seated in the future. Bragg told CNN in an interview in April: "Anytime you have a parallel civil, criminal investigation, if there's testimony in that proceeding, obviously we will look at it." This story has been updated with additional developments.
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