South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a recent candidate for chair of the Democratic National Committee, spoke about President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the prospect of U.S. Senator Cory Booker running for president in 2020 in Hoboken yesterday.
An openly gay U.S. Navy veteran who took office in 2012, Buttigieg addressed a crowd of a couple dozen people at the Pilsener House & Biergarten in Hoboken, beginning by speaking about the current state of the Democratic party.
“The main thing that’s on my mind right now is that we are a party that can explain what it is that we’re for and what it is that holds us together. Because when I was in Washington the other day, it felt like the energy there was nothing but anti-Trump,” stated Buttigieg.
“And nobody’s more anti-Trump than I am, and I imagine that all of us are, but that’s not a theme, that’s not a message. And where I’m from, a lot of people can’t hear us until, unless we’re talking about them.”
He also said that this is “the most unstable time for both political parties since World War II,” stating that it is possible that both parties could regress to what they believed in back in the 1950s.
“We’ve had this moment, we’re on this knife edge I think, where if we’re not careful, we could see both parties drift into the realm where we don’t want to be part of either one,” the mayor explained.
“If you think about the way it was in the 1950s, the Republican party was a party that was socially progressive, forward looking on a lot of issues and also did what was right for the elite and those well off. And the Democratic party was a party that was reliably in favor of the working person, and the farmer, and was also the party where most racists and nativist elements found its home.”
Taking questions from the crowd, Buttigieg gave his take on Vice President Mike Pence, a former Indiana governor, taking over if President Donald Trump were to leave office early for any reason.
” … If anyone thinks that he’s conniving and executing some master plan, you need to understand how bumbling his administration was,” said Buttigieg.
“They were not effective, they were not respected and they were not efficient. So when you think about the possibility that he could be in the Oval Office before 2020, I guess I would say watch out.”
When Hudson County View asked what he thought about the possibility of Booker running for president in 2020, Buttigieg said it was too early to predict, but said there are plenty of capable candidates waiting in the wings.
“I’ve always appreciated Cory and any mayor who goes onto state and federal government ‘cuz I think mayor’s have a good intuition about how to serve people. So, I have no idea what the 2020 field is going to look like,” he responded, noting that the last time he spoke to Booker was about a college football bet.
“What I will say, is for some reason its become fashionable to say ‘oh, we don’t have a bench in the Democratic party.’ I think that’s crazy. There are people at every level, at all ages, and I think many, one of the silver linings of the last election’s result is it’s uncorked a lot of energy and allowed a lot of leaders to rise up and become more visible.”
Dignitaries in attendance included Mayor Dawn Zimmer, 1st Ward Councilman/mayoral hopeful Mike DeFusco, and Jersey City Ward E Council candidate Michael Billy.