Buttigieg calls for ‘a new American spring’ in campaign launch | TheHill – The Hill
Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden sees donor enthusiasm, strong polls post-controversy Booker launches campaign tour starting in New Jersey Sanders sees path to beating Trump in Rust Belt MORE, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., on Sunday officially launched his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, calling for a “new American spring.”
“You and I have the chance to usher in a new American spring,” he told a crowd of supporters at a rally in South Bend. “So with hope in our hearts and with fire in our bellies, let’s get to work and let’s make history.”
Buttigieg, 37, made the announcement almost three months after launching an exploratory committee.
“My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete,” he said. “I am a proud son of South Bend, Indiana, and I am running for president of the United States.”
“My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete. I am a proud son of South Bend, Indiana. And I am running for President of the United States.”
— CNN (@CNN) April 14, 2019
Buttigieg was introduced Sunday by several mayors, including Austin’s Steve Adler, who called Buttigieg a “mayor’s mayor” and “a mayor among mayors.”
“I am standing here today with other mayors because we know something that this country needs to know, and we are in a unique position to know it. We can answer the question that many in America are asking. Yes, America, Mayor Pete is really that special,” Adler said.
The Afghanistan veteran in recent months has seen his poll numbers climb and his campaign raised more than $7 million in the first quarter of 2019, emerging as a serious candidate in the presidential race.
Buttigieg has placed third in recent polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, which will host the two earliest major presidential nominating contests in 2020.
The mayor has also seen his favorability ratings increase by more than 30 points since February, according to a recent poll.
Buttigieg said his campaign will center around three main principles: freedom, security and democracy.
Buttigieg, who is gay, said “you are certainly not free if a county clerk” gets to determine whether you can get married. He added that “you’re not free if your reproductive health choices are dictated by male politicians.”
The South Bend mayor took a shot at President TrumpDonald John TrumpWH spokesman: We’re working with DHS, ICE to try to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities Trump says he has legal right to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities Sanders calls on Trump to scrap his trade plan MORE when he shifted to “security,” saying that there is “a lot more to security than putting up a wall from sea to shining sea,” a reference to Trump’s efforts to build a wall along the southern border. Buttigieg also said the U.S. “should have nothing to fear from children fleeing violence.”
“I’m here today to tell a different story than ‘Make America Great Again,'” he said, without naming Trump. “I do believe in American greatness. I believe in American values.”
He also pointed to “climate security,” calling climate change a “life and death issue,” and called for “keeping us safe in the face of white nationalism.”
On the subject of democracy, Buttigieg criticized voter suppression and the Electoral College while appearing to call for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., to gain statehood.
Buttigieg also said Sunday he recognizes the “audacity” of running for president as a “midwestern millennial mayor,” calling it “more than a little bold.”
“But we live in a moment that compels us each to act,” he added, calling for a new generation of leadership. “The forces changing our country today are tectonic. … This time is not just about winning an election, it’s about winning an era.”
-Updated 4 p.m.