Buttigieg: Now is the only moment in history where my candidacy makes sense
2020 Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg believes that now is the only time in history that would make sense for a candidate with his background to run for the White House.
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., said on Sunday that two years ago he wouldn’t even have contemplated running for president, but now he believes that his experience as a small town mayor in the Midwest could help the country.
“If you would have asked me two years ago what would you be doing in 2019, I don't think I would have said this,” Buttigieg said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “But here you have this moment, probably the only moment in American history, where it just might make sense for somebody my age, coming from an experience in the industrial Midwest, nonfederal, from different background, bringing something that will actually help Americans.”
Buttigieg added that he is someone who can help Americans “change the channel from this mesmerizing horror show that’s going on in Washington.”
The South Bend mayor has become one of the most interesting candidates of the growing 2020 Democratic fray -- carving out for himself an image as both an embodiment of Midwest values and a progressive leader.
While the 37-year-old mayor hasn’t even officially declared that he is running for president, he has raised an impressive $7 million in the first quarter of fundraising for his exploratory committee and has jumped 11 points in the polls since February – putting him ahead of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro.
Buttigieg’s fundraising haul also essentially guarantees that he will qualify for the Democratic National Committee's June and July debates.
Speaking to “Fox News Sunday” last month, Buttigieg – a gay Afghanistan war vet who served in the Navy Reserves – tried to separate himself from the other Democratic candidates running for president by offering a more moderate approach to changing the country than those extolled by other Democrats.
"Some of them [Trump voters] voted to burn the house down because for years they saw that Democratic and Republican presidents produced economic and social policies that let them down," Buttigieg said. "There are things that we can do to make sure that we succeed as these changes come especially in economically vulnerable communities like where I come from in the Midwest."