Pete Buttigieg: House ‘Squad’ Is ‘Very Healthy’ for Democrats

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JULY 07: Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks on stage at 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE

Mayor Pete Buttigieg praised Wednesday the rise of the “squad” of freshmen Democrats in the House of Representatives, despite chaotic proceedings on the House floor on Tuesday.

“I think it’s very healthy to have a range of opinions, especially as we get into this season of the 2020 primary,” Buttigieg said, speaking to reporters after a campaign event in Kansas with veterans.

One reporter asked how Buttigieg planned to handle the “squad” of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) if he became president.

“The whole virtue of the primary is when people hash out exactly where the party is headed. I welcome all of those voices,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg said that it was important to include the upstart Democrats in the conversation.

“We’re talking about Americans that have been elected by their fellow Americans in order to lead and represent them,” he said. “That’s a healthy conversation, even though it turns at some moments into a tug-a-war about strategy.”

But Buttigieg added that Democrats had to also talk about their agenda despite the controversy between Trump and the “squad,” such as their attempt to force the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“We’re barely hearing about it,” he complained. “To me, it might be the story of the week.”

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