Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Friday that Democrats would not recognize America if President Donald Trump was re-elected in 2020.
“This country cannot afford Donald Trump for four years,” he said. “We will not recognize it if he is re-elected.”
Buttigieg spoke with Iowa Democrats at the Liberty and Justice Celebration dinner, a prominent event in the democratic presidential appointment process.
He tried to seize former President Barack Obama’s mantle and hinted that they were both candidates with a “funny name.”
“The first time I came to this state was as a volunteer, knocking on doors for a presidential candidate – a young man with a funny name,” he said. “We knew then that a lot was at stake. The stakes are huge now. “
Buttigieg also referred to his homosexuality and noted that as a young man he was afraid that he would never be able to serve in the army, never be accepted in America, and never happily marry another man:
You look at someone who grew up as a young man and wondered if something deep inside him meant that he would forever be an outsider – never wear the uniform, never accepted, never
know love. And now you’re looking at the same young man, a veteran, a mayor, happily married, and asking for your vote for the President of the United States.
He also informed the crowd of Iowa Democrats that he would go deer hunting in rural Michigan with his father-in-law.
“In a few weeks on the morning of Thanksgiving Day, because in 2019 in rural Michigan you can’t stop a man from hunting deer with his husband’s father,” he said.
Buttigieg also mocked Trump for playing golf on his own golf course, claiming that the president “only pretended to care about the working class.”
“I don’t even play golf,” he said. “I live in a Chevy that was built in Ohio by the same workers that this president has abandoned.”
He tried to portray himself as the candidate who ran outside of Washington, DC, and noted that he was the mayor of a Midwestern city.
Buttigieg also mocked the president for organizing a military parade, bragging that he served in Afghanistan and had seen the “dust of a war zone”.
“I don’t have to give myself a military parade to see what a convoy looks like because I was driving around Afghanistan around that time when this president was taking Season 7 of Celebrity Apprentice,” he said.
He claimed that Americans were hungry to end the dichotomy in their country and put an end to the Trump presidency, promising “to put an end to the chaos and corruption, and the tantrums and tweets.”
The mayor of South Bend promised a new coalition of progressives, moderates and “republicans of conscience” who wanted a change in the Oval Office.
He promised to fight Trump in the 2020 elections, arguing that the president’s political playbook would not work on him.
Trump, he argued, was more focused on promoting his own victories than trying to unite the country.
“We know that the purpose of presidency is not the glorification of the president, it is the unification of the American people,” he said. “That’s why we have the office.”