Pete Buttigieg is among the Democratic presidential candidates who publicly stated that they supported impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, first joined that chorus during a town hall event in April of 2019. At the time, Buttigieg said that he felt President Trump “deserves impeachment” but did not specifically call on Congress to do it.
But Buttigieg has also reiterated in TV interviews that he believes the only way to remove President Trump from office is to defeat him at the ballot box in 2020. He told MSNBC on September 23, the day before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the beginning of a formal impeachment inquiry, that he did not believe the Republican-controlled Senate would vote to remove him.
Hours after the announcement, Buttigieg spoke about the beginning of the impeachment proceedings with CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “This is a moment of truth for the country. This is a moment of truth for the Republican party. Sooner or later it had to come because any one of these abuses that we’ve seen over recent years, any one of them could have been career-ending for any other president… now, the constitution is kicking in and there’s going to be a process that leads to some sort of accountability.”
Here’s what you need to know.
Pete Buttigieg: President Trump Will ‘Act in a Lawless Manner No Matter What’ the House Democrats Do
After hedging on the question early on in his campaign, Pete Buttigieg has since made it clear that he is firmly on the side of impeachment. On the campaign trail in Iowa, he repeated his stance that he believes President Trump “deserves to be impeached” during an interview with MSNBC.
But Mayor Buttigieg does not appear to be putting much, if any, stock in that process, at least when it comes to the end results. He told anchor Nicolle Wallace on September 23, 2019, that he feels President Trump is “going to act in a lawless manner no matter what” steps Congress takes.
Buttigieg added that he believes “Senate Republicans have lost touch with their conscience.” He stressed that in addition to winning the White House, Democrats need to work to remove the president’s Republican “enablers” in Congress at the ballot box in November of 2020.
Buttigieg explained, “I think the House should act. I also think that the House’s actions will not have any effect on the conduct of this president… The only thing that’s going to make a difference is for Senate Republicans to experience a loss of power as a consequence of them betraying their own values by being on board with this president.”
Buttigieg further explained in an interview with CBS’ Ed O’Keefe that he puts his trust in Speaker Nancy Pelosi when it comes to navigating an impeachment process. Buttigieg again expressed his support for the House Democrats, saying that they have “a responsibility to stick up for the rule of law” but that, again, he believes the president will only be removed from office if he is defeated in the 2020 election. The full interview is embedded above and the impeachment discussion begins at 9:50.
Buttigieg Says Democrats Need to Prevent President Trump From ‘Constantly Changing the Subject’
Pete Buttigieg has said that on the campaign trail, he does not get questions from voters about whether he supports impeaching President Trump. Instead, Buttigieg said that he gets asked about his thoughts on topics such as health care, how to keep public schools operating, and infrastructure.
He told MSNBC that Democrats need to find a way to “handle” President Trump while at the same time sticking to the issues that directly impact American voters. Buttigieg said that the Democrats need to “deny [Trump] his power to constantly change the subject from the other things that we’re delivering on, or proposing to deliver on that he just won’t. Because life in American communities is not getting any better under this president. He hasn’t kept any of his promises other than the one about the corporate tax cut and we’ve got to demonstrate a better way.”
As for the issues Buttigieg says Americans want to focus on, health care has repeatedly been the top concern among voters. A survey from RealClear Politics released in early May of registered voters nationwide showed that more than a third of those surveyed selected health care as the most important issue. The economy was the second choice in terms of importance, with 26 percent of respondents choosing economic issues as their top concern at the ballot box.
RealClear Opinion Research: Top Issues Voters Care About [4/30/19 to 5/5/19]