Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Friday that Democrats would not recognize America if President Donald Trump was re-elected in 2020.
“This country cannot afford four more years of Donald Trump,” he said. “We will not recognize it if he gets reelected.”
Buttigieg spoke to Iowa Democrats at the Liberty and Justice Celebration dinner, a prominent event in the Democrat presidential nomination process.
He tried to seize the mantle of former President Barack Obama, hinting that they were both candidates with a “funny name.”
“The first time I came to this state was as a volunteer, to knock on doors for a presidential candidate – a young man with a funny name,” he said. “We knew the stakes were high then. The stakes are colossal now.”
Buttigieg also referenced his homosexuality, noting that as a young man he was worried that he could never serve in the military, never be accepted in America, and never be happily married to another man:
You’re looking at someone who as a young man growing up wondered if something deep inside of him meant that he would forever be an outsider — would never wear the uniform, never be accepted, never
know love. And now you are looking at that same young man, a veteran, a mayor, happily married, asking for your vote for President of the United States.
He also hinted to the crowd of Iowa Democrats that he would go deer hunting with his father-in-law after Thanksgiving in “rural” Michigan.
“In a few weeks on the morning of Thanksgiving Day, because in 2019 in rural Michigan, you cannot stop a man from going deer hunting with his husband’s father,” he said.
Buttigieg also mocked Trump for golfing on his own golf course and claimed that the president was only “pretending to care about the working class.”
“I don’t even golf,” he said. “I get around in a Chevy that was built in Ohio by the same workers this president has let down.”
He tried to portray himself as the candidate running outside of Washington, DC, noting that he was the mayor of a midwestern town.
Buttigieg also ridiculed the president for organizing a military parade, boasting that he served in Afghanistan and had seen the “dust of a war zone.”
“I don’t have to throw myself a military parade to see what a convoy looks like, ‘cause I was driving in one around Afghanistan right about the time this president was taping Season 7 of Celebrity Apprentice,” he said.
He claimed that Americans were hungry to end the division in their country and bring an end to the Trump presidency, which he promised would be “an end to the chaos, and the corruption, and the tantrums and the tweets.”
The South Bend mayor 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 election, 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 united the country.
“We know that the purpose of the presidency is not the glorification of the president, it is the unification of the American people,” he said. “That is why we have the office.”