On Thursday night in a CNN townhall, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg threatened to “go directly into the backyard of senators” if they denied “my White House.”
Buttigieg was asked about the one thing he would like to accomplish as president if he were only to accomplish one thing.
Host Chris Cuomo asked, “If Mitch McConnell is still there; if you are given the opportunity to lead but you do not have leadership on your side in the Senate, then how can you change and make this one thing happen?”
Buttigieg replied, “So here’s what we have going for us: right now, is that there’s a historic American majority insisting that we make these changes. Even more than the majority that was available to President Obama a decade ago.”
He then boasted of his boldness, continuing, “On the things that I am proposing, even though they are bold, big moves forward, for a better democracy, to climate action, to gun violence, to higher wages and family leave, all the things we believe in, there’s a powerful enough majority even in conservative states, that if you can’t have a good faith interaction with a GOP Senate, you can have a good interaction with the voters who sent them there.”
Then came the threat: “So to me, the best use of that big blue-and-white airplane that comes with the Oval Office that the president uses mostly for the purpose of traveling among golf courses with his name on them — I don’t even golf so that’s not going to be how I use that airplane. I’m going to use that airplane to go directly into the backyard of senators who are not just defying my White House but defying their own voters, their own constituents, and require them to explain to the people who sent them to Washington why they refuse to enact the basic legislation that meets the expectation of their own voters.”
Cuomo interjected, “You will go to state constituencies when you have an issue situation and campaign for it right there where they’re from?”
“Absolutely. This isn’t just about campaigning for candidates,” Buttigieg replied. “This is about campaigning for issues.”
As CNS reported, Buttigieg, speaking of the “one thing,” also stated:
It’s not a sizzling, glamorous issue. But the shape of our democracy is the issue that affects every other issue. So in order for us to get better outcomes on funding public education, on dealing with gun violence — Think about this. Ninety percent of Americans, the vast majority of Republicans, of gun owners, think we ought to at least be doing universal background checks, and it still doesn’t happen …
So my point is, there’s so many issues and areas from climate to gun violence to economics where Americans want something and Washington cannot deliver. That if you’ve got to pick one thing to fix, it’s politics, it’s Washington, and there are concrete things we can do about it.