Pete Buttigieg in June Democratic candidates debate in Miami FL

On Crime: Move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism

Q: Your community has recently been in uproar over an officer-involved shooting. The police force in South Bend is now 6% black in a city that is 26% black. Why has that not improved over your two terms as mayor?

BUTTIGIEG: 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. It's a mess. And we're hurting. And until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism, whatever this particular incident teaches us, we will be left with the bigger problem of the fact that there is a wall of mistrust put up one racist act at a time, not just from what's happened in the past, but from what's happening around the country in the present. I am determined to bring about a day when a white person driving a vehicle and a black person driving a vehicle, when they see a police officer approaching, feels the exact same thing.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

On Crime: I believe in police accountability and will implement it

Gov. John HICKENLOOPER [former mayor of Denver, regarding a shooting in Buttigieg's town by a white police officer of a black man, where the police body camera was not turned on]: We had a shooting when I first became mayor, 10 years before Ferguson. And we diversified the police force and did de-escalation training. The real question that America should be asking is why, five years after Ferguson, every city doesn't have this level of police accountability.

BUTTIGIEG: Look, we have taken so many steps toward police accountability that [I've been] denounced for too much accountability. We're obviously not there yet, and I accept responsibility for that because I'm in charge.

Rep. Eric SWALWELL: If the camera wasn't on and that was the policy, you should fire the chief.

BUTTIGIEG: Under Indiana law, this will be investigated and there will be accountability for the officer involved.

SWALWELL: But you're the mayor. You should fire the chief--if that's the policy and someone died.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

On Education: Rich kids should pay tuition; but make it more affordable

College affordability is personal for us. Chasten and I have six-figure student debt. I believe in reducing student debt. If you can refinance your house, you ought to be able to refinance your student debt. I also believe in free college for low and middle-income students for whom cost could be a barrier. I just don't believe it makes sense to ask working-class families to subsidize the children of billionaires. The children of the wealthiest Americans can pay at least a little bit of tuition.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Pittsburgh Summit instead of Paris Summit

Rural America can be part of the solution instead of being told they're part of the problem. With the right kind of soil management and investments, rural America could be a huge part of how we get this done. We've got to look to the leadership of those networks of mayors in cities from around the world. We should have a Pittsburgh summit where we bring them together, as well as rejoining the Paris [accords].
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

On Free Trade: Tariffs are taxes; we pay $800 a year for Trump's tariffs

We've got to recognize that the China challenge is serious but their fundamental economic model isn't going to change because of some tariffs. Tariffs are taxes. Americans are going to pay on average $800 more a year because of these tariffs. Meanwhile, China is investing in artificial intelligence. This president is fixated on the China relationship as if all that mattered was the export balance on dishwashers. We've got a much bigger issue on our hands.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

On Gun Control: Trained on military weapons: no place in civilian use

Q: You are the only person on this stage with military experience. Does that inform your thinking on gun control, or on assault weapons?

Mayor Pete BUTTIGIEG: We trained on some of these kinds of weapons. If more guns made us safer, we would be the safest country on earth. It doesn't work that way. Common-sense measures like universal background checks can't seem to get delivered by Washington, even when most Republicans, let alone most Americans, agree it's the right thing to do. As somebody who trained on weapons of war, I can tell you that there are weapons that have absolutely no place in American cities or neighborhoods in peacetime, ever.

V.P. Joe BIDEN: I'm the only person that has beaten the NRA nationally. I'm the guy that got the Brady Bill passed, the background checks. I'm also the only guy that got assault weapons banned, and the number of clips in a gun banned. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the NRA, the gun manufacturers.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

On Health Care: How do we get to single payer? Need a glide path

I would call it Medicare for all who want it. You make it available on the exchanges, people can buy in. If people like us are right, that will be not only a more inclusive plan, but a more efficient plan, then it will be a very natural glide path to the single-payer environment.

But let's remember, even in countries that have socialized medicine there's still a private sector. It's just that for our primary care, we can't be relying on the tender mercies of the corporate system.

This one is very personal for me. I started out this year dealing with the terminal illness of my father. I make decisions for a living, and nothing could have prepared me for the kind of decisions our family faced. The thing we had going for us was that we never had to make those decisions based on whether it was going to bankrupt our family, because of Medicare. And I want every family to have that same freedom to do what is medically right, not live in financial fear.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

On Health Care: Cover undocumented immigrants; then we're all healthier

Our country is healthier when everybody is healthier. Remember, we are talking about something people are given a chance to buy into. This is not about a handout. This is an insurance program. And we do ourselves no favors by having 11 million undocumented people in our country be unable to access health care. But, of course, the real problem is we shouldn't have 11 million undocumented people with no pathway to citizenship. It makes no sense.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

On Immigration: Decriminalizing border-crossing ends child separation

Q: Raise your hand if you think it should be a civil offense rather than a crime to cross the border without documentation?

[8 out of 10 debate participants would decriminalize unauthorized border crossings. Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, and Eric Swalwell raised their hands, indicating their first public support of the proposal. Julian Castro called out Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), who has argued the law should remain on the books. The only candidate to flatly reject the idea was Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). Joe Biden took a mixed position.

Buttigieg: That criminalization is the basis for family separation. You do away with that, it's no longer possible. The Republican Party likes to cloak itself in the language of religion. For a party that associates itself with Christianity, to say that God would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages, has lost all claim to ever use religious language again.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

On Principles & Values: Politics is not theoretical; our generation must deliver

Nothing about politics is theoretical for me. I've experienced being in a marriage that exists by the grace of a single vote on the Supreme Court. I'm running because the decisions we make in the next three or four years are going to decide how the next 30 or 40 go. When I get to the age of the current president in the year 2055, I want to be able to look back and say my generation delivered climate solutions, racial equality, and an end to endless war
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) Jun 27, 2019

The above quotations are from NBC News, "Decision 2020," the Democratic candidates debate,
live from the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami, Florida, June 26-27, 2019..
Click here for main summary page.
Click here for a profile of Pete Buttigieg.
Click here for Pete Buttigieg on all issues.
Pete Buttigieg on other issues:
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
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Page last updated: Jul 19, 2019