Debate Preview: Pete Buttigieg Rips Biden, Sanders Over Past Positions
South Bend Mayor and 2020 presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg (D) criticized fellow White House rivals former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in an interview scheduled to air Sunday morning.
Appearing on CBS News’ Face the Nation, Buttigieg, both an Afghanistan War veteran and naval reservist, hit Biden for his support of the Iraq War.
“I certainly think that vote was a mistake and I have a different view on that conflict,” he said per The Hill, later adding that he “opposed [it] as a student and continue[s] to think it was a terrible idea.”
Buttigieg also took aim at Sanders, whom he once wrote about in a high school essay, praising him as courageous for referring to himself as a “Socialist.” The Indiana Democrat said the time has come for Sanders to step aside so a new generation may lead.
“It’s not unusual, in a moment like this, to admire somebody and also find yourself competing with them,” he told host Margaret Brennan. “But I have a different approach. I have a somewhat different message and I represent a very different messenger.”
“The values that make us Democrats shouldn’t change,” he added. “We’ve got to find a different vocabulary around them. We’ve got to find a way to communicate, in terms of real-world impact, what it means to go with a progressive direction, rather than stay on this drift that we have right now in Washington.”
Buttigieg then touted his government experience as mayor as an advantage against his opponents.
“Part of it’s because I’m a mayor. And so my world is one of being on the ground,” he said. “We eat what we cook as mayors. We live with the policy decisions we make. There’s no force field of staff between me and the constituents who count on me.”
Buttigieg will debate Biden, Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), as well as six more candidates on June 27 in the inaugural round of the 2020 Democrat Party debates.
“Recent polls show the South Bend, Indiana, mayor consistently landing in the second tier of Democrat candidates. The latest Real Clear Politics numbers show Buttigieg in fourth place, averaging 7.2 percent. He finds himself right behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who has seen a recent surge in the polls and finds herself trailing Sanders with 10.2 percent support,” Breitbart News reported.
The mayor is expected to more than double first quarter numbers with a haul of $15 million.