Pete Buttigieg Dismisses ‘Electability’ of Older, White Male Candidate Versus Trump: ‘Democrats Always Psych Ourselves Out’


In a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Mayor Pete Buttigieg dismissed the idea that the most electable candidate to beat President Donald Trump in 2020 would be an older, white man, not unlike former Vice President Joe Biden.

“This worries me a bit. Democrats always psych ourselves out. We over-think, try to put ourselves in the heads of somebody else,” Buttigieg said, before offering a brief history lesson about the past 40 years of Democratic success and failure at the presidential level.

“The pattern shows that possibly the riskiest thing we can do is play it safe in that way. Think about this, my home state, Indiana. Indiana went blue once in the last 50 years. It wasn’t for Bill Clinton or John Kerry or Jimmy Carter. It was for [Barack] Obama. If we were sitting here in 2007 saying let’s find somebody so electable, so palatable, so easy for swing voters to get comfortable with that he can carry Indiana for Democrats. I’m not sure people would have said Obama. He was able to move people and inspire people. What we have in 2020 is a sense of great urgency. We know what we’re up against. Just how imperative it is for those of us horrified by the behavior of this administration. We’re not going to win by offering a return to normal.”

Buttigieg went on to caution Democrats not to try to mimic Trump’s nostalgic “Make America Great Again” campaign narrative by returning to the world before he became president.

“This idea we can turn back the clock,” he explained. “I feel like some Democrats for whom our answer to the Republicans who say they want to turn back the clock to the 1950s: ‘We want to turn back the clock, just not as far, to the early 2000s.’ That won’t work. We’re in the industrial Midwest, people and all races have been left behind by the so-called normal. That led to the Midwest, places like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, supporting the president we have now.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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