Said Buttigieg: “I think it’s a cop-out to blame pop culture for violence… What I will say is that the culture we produce, reflects us. And if you see a dark dystopian film doing well, it might be because the American people are feeling unsettled and bothered and maybe dark in a time like this.”
Pete Buttigieg has continued his criticism of Sen. Elizabeth Warren after last night’s debate, saying she has been “more specific and forthcoming about the number of selfies she’s taken” than about how she would pay for “Medicare for All,” CNN reports.
It’s a shift in strategy for the mayor who largely avoided attacking his rivals.
In fact, back in February, Buttigieg told MSNBC that Medicare for All is the “compromise position” since it’s a public payer and private doctors. Now, he’s running attack ads against the plan calling it “polarizing.”
“We’re not going to beat Trump with pocket change.”
— Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in a Snapchat interview, on Elizabeth Warren’s small donor strategy.
New York Times: “Boasting a huge financial war chest but struggling in the polls, Mr. Buttigieg is now staking his presidential candidacy on Iowa, and particularly on connecting with rural white voters who want to talk about personal concerns more than impeachment. In doing so, Mr. Buttigieg is also trying to show how Democrats can win back counties that flipped from Barack Obama to Donald Trump in 2016 — there are more of them in Iowa than any other state — by focusing, he said, on ‘the things that are going to affect folks’ lives in a concrete way.'”
“Pete Buttigieg is pitching himself as an alternative to moderate Democrats who might not be sold on Joe Biden,” Bloomberg reports.
“Despite raising a staggering $51 million in 2019, Buttigieg has been stuck in fourth place, between 5% and 7% in national polls. Part of that’s because he’s hard to define. He’s a little-known mayor of a small city. He eschews ideological labels. He blends a message that sounds like Elizabeth Warren with a platform that looks like Biden’s and a courteous Midwestern demeanor that calls for national unity.”
“His ‘re-centering’ message is designed to counter Republican caricatures of Democrats — he told Iowans that ‘freedom’ isn’t just about businesses having fewer regulations, it’s about being free of crippling health care costs; and he says big government should get out of the way of women making reproductive choices.”
CNN: “Back in the 2000 election, John McCain opened his campaign bus up to reporters, offering extreme access as he engaged with journalists in between stops. The bus was called the Straight Talk Express and became a symbol of McCain’s commitment to providing press access..”
“Nearly 20 years later, Pete Buttigieg is going to try out the concept. Beginning Saturday, Buttigieg will go on a four-day swing through Iowa in which reporters from national and local outlets will be welcomed on his bus. Everything will be on the record.”
Fifty-eight U.S. mayors announced their endorsements of Pete Buttigieg in a USA Today op-ed, giving the South Bend, Indiana mayor a boost of institutional support for his presidential campaign.
Politico: “Although the mayors are largely white, Buttigieg picked up some key endorsements from mayors of color, a constituency of voters with whom Buttigieg has struggled to make headway, notably including in the key-primary state of South Carolina.”
Associated Press: “His lack of any ample base of support, even among his fellow millennials, is a central challenge of the 37-year-old’s long shot bid to rise to the nation’s highest office. He plays well across a broad spectrum of Democratic voters, but in small fragments that have left him an intriguing candidate stuck in single digits in national polls.
New York Times: “Mr. Buttigieg’s image as a young, results-oriented executive continues to make him popular with many upper-income white liberals. They have delivered an overflowing war chest to his campaign: He had the best recent fund-raising quarter of any Democrat in the race, pulling in $24.8 million.”
“But criticism of Mr. Buttigieg’s oversight of the police has damaged his viability as a Democratic presidential candidate, given the huge influence of black voters in choosing the party’s nominee. He has slipped in the polls in recent months, from double-digit poll numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire in the spring to the single digits more recently. In a recent Fox News poll, he earned less than 1 percent support from black Democratic primary voters.”
BuzzFeed News: “The strategy… is to catch up with other campaign organizations in the early caucus and primary states and wait for candidates with less money to drop. Buttigieg’s paid staff has grown to more than 300 — up from 30 just a few months ago — with about 70 on the ground in Iowa and 50 in New Hampshire. New field offices are scheduled to open across both states next week. And the campaign has ramped up its digital advertising, using platforms such as Spotify.”
“One move not under consideration: attacking Biden, who leads in most polls, or the others standing between him and Buttigieg. Past primaries have shown little benefit for those who target a frontrunner.”
Said adviser Lis Smith: “The first phase was just getting people to understand how to pronounce this impossible to pronounce Maltese last name. The second phase was to blow everyone out of the water on fundraising — everyone out of the fucking water. Done. Done. Now the third phase is blow them out of the water with our organization and our organizational abilities.”
“Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign is taking proactive steps for the possibility of a contested convention, including an aggressive effort to court Democratic Party insiders who could cast crucial votes in such a scenario,” the Daily Beast reports.
“The South Bend mayor’s team held a conference call with a group of so-called superdelegates on Monday to ask them for their support… It was just the latest sign that the mayor’s aides are still playing catch up against competitors such as former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been cultivating relationships with party insiders for nearly 40 years. But it also signals that Buttigieg’s team sees a convention floor fight as a possible path towards securing the party’s nomination.”
“If you promise not to judge Indiana by the vice president, we promise not to judge Michigan by the secretary of education.”
— Pete Buttigieg, quoted by the Detroit Free Press, speaking to Michigan Democrats.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg told the Kansas City Star that Republicans will tag even the most middle-of-the-road Democratic nominee as a scary radical. He notes Democrats found that out after co-opting the Republican-born plan that became the Affordable Care Act.
Said Buttigieg: “That was the most conservative intervention you can think of, and as soon as it was adopted, they started calling it socialism.”
He asked, “Why should Democrats feel they have to choose either x or y on the ideological spectrum when the current president doesn’t even have an ideology?”
New York Times: “Many in his generation and in his college class decided to come out as young adults, whether they were confident they would be accepted or not, and had their 20s to navigate being open about their identity — a process that helped make Americans more aware and accepting of their gay friends, family members and co-workers. Instead, Mr. Buttigieg spent those years trying to reconcile his private life with his aspirations for a high-profile career in public service.”
“Attitudes toward gay rights changed immensely during that period, though he acknowledges that he was not always able or willing to see what broader social and legal shifts meant for him personally.”
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg is raising cash for the Democratic primary season at a clip expected of a front-runner, but his poll numbers are exposing a rift between donors and voters,” USA Today reports.
“Donors say he can make a believer of many who hear him speak. Their support locked him into the second round of Democratic debates later this month and made him one of just a few so far to qualify for the third round, scheduled for September, giving him a better chance to make a name for himself onstage.”
One of the most powerful moments of last night’s Democratic debate was when Pete Buttigieg was asked about the recent police shooting in South Bend. Rachel Maddow asked why he hadn’t increased the number of black police officers on the force.
Said Buittigieg: “Because I couldn’t get it done. My community is in anguish right now because of an officer-involved shooting, a black man, Eric Logan, killed by a white officer. And I’m not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back. The officer said he was attacked with a knife, but he didn’t have his body camera on. It’s a mess. And we’re hurting.”
Playbook: “That’s a politician taking responsibility for a shortcoming. We don’t see that much.”
Los Angeles Times: “Buttigieg spoke with evident emotion of the pain of black residents and said he was determined to bring about a day when police would inspire support instead of fear among African Americans not just at home, but everywhere. The response won’t defuse tensions. But he may get credit for not dissembling or trying to palm the blame off on others.”