Buttigieg Says He'll Go to 'Backyard of Senators' Who Defy 'My White House'

By Susan Jones | February 7, 2020 | 7:44am EST
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says he doesn't golf, and he has other plans for Air Force One. (Photo by Spencer Platt/AFP via Getty Images)
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says he doesn't golf, and he has other plans for Air Force One. (Photo by Spencer Platt/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - A president cannot deliver on his promises unless Congress passes legislation, 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg told a CNN-sponsored town hall Thursday night.

And to force passage of legislation he favors, Buttigieg said he will fly to the backyards of senators who oppose the legislation he wants to pass:

And so to me, the best use of that big blue-and-white airplane that comes with the Oval Office that the president uses mostly for the purpose of traveling among golf courses with his name on them -- I don't even golf so that's not going to be how I use that airplane.

I'm going to use that airplane to go directly into the backyard of senators who are not just defying my White House but defying their own voters, their own constituents, and require them to explain to the people who sent them to Washington why they refuse to enact the basic legislation that meets the expectation of their own voters.

Host Chris Cuomo followed up:  "You will go to state constituencies when you have an issue situation and campaign for it right there where they're from?"

"Absolutely," Buttigieg said. "This isn't just about campaigning for candidates. This is about campaigning for issues."

Buttigieg was responding to a question about the one, single thing he would like to accomplish as president, if he could choose only one thing:

"Well, let me say this," Buttigieg responded. "It's not a sizzling, glamorous issue. But the shape of our democracy is the issue that affects every other issue. So in order for us to get better outcomes on funding public education, on dealing with gun violence -- Think about this. Ninety percent of Americans, the vast majority of Republicans, of gun owners, think we ought to at least be doing universal background checks, and it still doesn't happen.

"So my point is, there's so many issues and areas from climate to gun violence to economics where Americans want something and Washington cannot deliver. That if you've got to pick one thing to fix, it's politics, it's Washington, and there are concrete things we can do about it."

Buttigieg mentioned "getting money out of politics" and passing a bill like HR 1, which he described as a "pro-democracy, anti-corruption bill" that has died in the Republican-led Senate.

Buttigieg said a "historic American majority" is insisting on the changes that Buttigieg advocates, and if he can't convince Republicans to pass Democrat bills, "you can have a good interaction with the voters who sent them there."


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