Pete Buttigieg Talks 2020 Election, Diversity In Democratic Party | NBC News

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/05/2019 06:38 PM

In an exclusive interview, 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg sat down with NBC News' Vaughn Hillyard to discuss varying issues including diversity in the Democratic party, his appeal to voters and how he compares to former Vice President Joe Biden. » Subscribe to NBC News:

Would you urge the house of representatives to expand the articles of impeachment beyond the holdup of ukrainian aid money i'll leave that to the house there's definitely no shortage of abuses of power under this administration. Frankly, i think it's difficult to narrow down all of the things that warrant impeachment, that we've seen or could warrant impeachment that we've seen under this presiden ...
. But what we know is that they've identified a very specific pattern of abuse, they've documented it there have been witnesses. There'S been testimony, and now the time has come to take formal action. It'Ll go to the senate. I don't have very high hopes for the objectivity of republican senators, but for the americanpeople we need to have this process and we need to lay a marker in history that no presidents above the law, just yesterday, you were backed by vote. That'S a super pac made up of veterans. At the same time, you have been an opponent of dark money in politics. Just last month, you said quote: dark money is such a problem when you're looking at what goes on at the super pacs, you said you can't control how super pacs spend their money both that's the same time. Would you disavow them spending money on behalf of your candidates now, first of all, vogue vets is the largest democratic, veteran organization in the country. They do extraordinary workand. They have helped demonstrate that patriotism, love of country and service to the united states is not a republican issue, it's not a partisan issue, and so i'm very proud to have their endorsement now.

We also know that all of us running for president are working in a system that needs to be changed, needs to be reformed, and one of my priorities, as president will be to reform the entire campaign system, because what we have right now is not consistent with. Certainly, what i think the founders intended also what most of us as americans, expect in terms of fairness and in terms of what it takes to get elected to office? Would you at thesame time urge them not to spend during this democratic primary? I'M not going to tell them what to do by definition. These are decisions that are made separate and required to be completely separated, separated from anything that candidates and campaigns do i want to bring up joe biden in health care earlier this week, joe biden suggested that you quote stole his health care proposal now over the course Of your campaign from our eyes of your coverage, you remain consistent in putting forward a proposal that says that folks should be able to buy into a private health insurance plan or opt into a government public option. At the same time, joe biden back in 2009 waspressing for a public option through obamacare at the time and also released a health care plan. Two months before you did with specific details, essentially for folks that are watching at home. It is there a difference between your guys's health care plans in is. Is there not a certain level of deference owed to the vice-president, so a normos respect for the vice-president? I have a somewhat different plan. It'S got different features in terms of out-of-pocket costs and other parts into the design of the policy, but here's the fundamental idea we take medicare for all who want it. That'S what we call it it's it's a version of medicare that anyone can have access to andby. The way we would retroactively lis enroll anybody who has fallen through the cracks and is going without insurance, but we don't kick anybody off of their private plan. I am not the first person to talk about this range of policy options. Neither is the vice-president.

This is something we've been debating as a country for more than a decade, naturally of being a little bit biased. I believe that my plan is the best plan and i think voters increasingly view that is the case to kind of ask you about your set of experiences life. You have a bassett of experience, middle east or that rhodes, scholar, mayor of a diverse city in the midwest atthe same time, from your life experiences you were just down in the south this week. Do you feel, like you, have experienced enough diverse communities across this country from alabama mississippi to border communities, tribal lands to tell voters that you truly understand a diverse part of this country? You don't think any one individual can encompass the whole of the richness and the diversity of the united states. But what i'll say is that the story of my city, a much lower income community than i think most people realize a racially diverse community and one that has really lived. These ups and downs that have impacted so many cities like ours across america, is a big partof. How i view the world, but also part of the work of a campaign, is to reach out to all different kinds of communities in the united states to share our plans, but also to take in a sense of what is affecting people. For example, a couple of days ago, as you know, during our tour through the south, we visited allendale county, the lowest-income county in south carolina. They hadn't seen a presidential candidate in more than a decade and speaking with those voters with those americans about what affects them is an example of the kind of work we do day in day out to make sure that this campaign, and ultimately my presidency reflects theaspirations And the challenges of so many different kinds of demands. Do you feel comfortable, though, suggesting to the broader part of this country that you have experienced enough communities to really understand the diversity of this country as much as any individual seeking the presidency can look? This is a vast country. One thing you really feel when you're campaigning in the whole country at once is just how much complexity there is to the united states, but also at the same time, you see how much commonality there is. You know the issues that we hear in the deep south around making sure that we provide economic opportunity making sure rural areas don't get left behind ensuring everybodyhas health care in many ways.

Rhyme with what we're hearing in new england and mars that you know more before you run for president well, look every passing year in your life, you gain experience and i believe that you need to continue learning each moment that you're alive, but i would also stack Up my kind of experience from military service to executive leadership, to what i've been able to do around the country and around the world among any of my competitors, is something that prepares me for the presidency from 2007 to 2010. You worked for mckinsey for folks that aren't familiar at mckinsey as a global, consulting firm and to understand it. You have annda with mckinsey, and so therefore the public does not know who you represented during those three years just last week. You said, to quote, i know the campaign's reach out to ask about being released from the nda, i'm not sure whether we've gotten response. Yet my question to you is: have you gotten a response yet and 60 days out from an iowa caucus? Isn'T it worthy for folks to know who you i presented over those three years? Yes, i think it would be good to be released. Look, i keep my word and i signed a legal document when you serve a client that you're gon na respect their confidentiality, but i do think it would bea good thing for that to be released. This is my first job out of school. It mostly consisted of preparing spreadsheets and powerpoints, but i would be happy to be able to share more about the the consulting work that i did, especially because in the decades since the two and a half years that i worked at this company, i can think of At least four times that i've opened up the newspaper and become really angry over decisions that they have made or decisions, it's somebody in that company is made that do not reflect. Certainly, the values that that company says that that they work by and also, i think, reflect a problem in corporateamerica that everything is reduced to dollars and cents when the reality is business. Decisions are moral decisions and corporate america needs to understand the moral weight of what they do, just as the business sector needs to be regulated in a democracy that establishes the left and right boundaries of what should be allowed by for-profit companies. Is there anybody that you regret representing no, did you ever represent a foreign government? No, a pharmaceutical company. No and again, i'm hoping that we'll get a chance to just be able to push all this out.

Voter last week, tim hight from johnson iowa came up to me after your event in iowa, and he told me he wantedme to ask you this question. He said right now. He plans to caucus for joe biden almost solely because of the experience vice president brings. He said he likes you, though, and his question that he wanted me to ask you was: what do you acknowledge that you need to surround yourself with in an administration from the experience that you lack joe biden is 40 years your elder? What do you need to surround yourself with in the administration to make up for what job right it does have? Well, i never want to be the smartest person in the room on any topic of policy that we're working on or anything we're undertaking as an administration. Oneof, the first things i learned when i became mayor was to surround myself with people who would tell the truth who knew more about whatever it is. I put them in charge than i did and who wouldn't be afraid to. Let me know when they thought we were going in the wrong direction. That'S the same thing that i'll seek to do as president to make sure that the senior leadership of the american government consists of people who have a range of experience, a diversity of backgrounds, a readiness to tell the truth on every issue. And what my job is. As the executive is to have the judgment to know what to do, especially when differentpeople, who have been around a long time, who you respect, disagree with each other on what to do, and that, i think, is when an executive really earns their paychecks. Specifically, though, for tim, because he want to know specifically, is there an area of an experience that you lack that you acknowledge that you need to build on. Of course i mean, for example, the secretary of energy should know a lot more about nuclear issues than i do.

I want to make sure that the assistant secretary of state for middle east affairs knows a lot more than i do about the history and the dynamics of the middle east. I mean every slot. You want tofill with people who have the expertise to manage these issues and to make recommendations. Look i'm not a creature of washington and part of my job will be to make sure that we operate in ways that get things done with a legislative and agenda. That'S very ambitious, but also i've seen how experience has often failed to in fact sending the same people to have the same arguments over the same turf in washington is what we've been doing for decades to very little effect and very disappointing result. It'S precisely why i want to bring change to washington instead of running as a candidate from washington. Last thing we saw sites out of south bend an eventin which a couple individuals that back your candidacy in individuals of color were spoken over by particularly one protestor, who supported another candidate in this race from afar. What did you see take place? Well, what i saw was a number of people who are supportive of the work that i've done in south bend explaining. Why - and i also saw that the event was disrupted and it's unfortunate and it's it shows kind of where politics has come to, especially for somebody to interrupt an african american, a woman who is speaking about her truth and her experience. But this is the climate that we're in and we need to continue making sure that everyone is empowered, tospeak their truth, their experience and in particular, when it comes to south bend story, i'm very proud of the supporters that we have and also very open to america. Seeing all of the different steps that we've been through, there is where we don't all agree and what that means for how a community can step forward and how a country can step forward the administration. The trump administration announced yesterday cut back in its snap program.

Almost 700,000, the usda says, are expected to lose food stamps. Is the administration wrong? Yes, it's dead wrong and you don't have to share, for example, my particular faith tradition to believe that there is a moral issue here. I meanthe words that are ringing in my head. Are i was hungry and you did not feed me. We'Re talking about feeding people in need we're talking about a measure that costs a tiny fraction of what the spectacular tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations cost that this administration and its republican and neighbor enable errs in congress who used to talk about the deficit like They cared about it enthusiastically, voted through and now when it comes to food aid, for those in need suddenly they're going to make cuts it going into the holidays. This reflects just how morally bankrupt this administration and its congressional republican enablers have become last question for you. Komal harris dropped, outsenator camel-hair has dropped out of the presidential race this week number one. Would you consider her as your vice presidential pick in number two, the debate stage right now at this point will consist of only white individuals in december. Is there any issue with the democratic party right now on race? Well, first of all, i have enormous respect for senator harris. I think that she brought a great deal to the race and she'll continue to bring a great deal in her leadership to the country. I don't think it's appropriate for me to name shae, it's very premature before the iowa caucus for me to name check anybody for the future, but certainly under consideration imean. I think she deserves to be under anybody's consideration, she's uh formidable leader.

I also think that it matters that this democratic field has been the most diverse ever now. We'Re also coming to the point where it gets narrowed down. We have had now. I think five nationally televised debates, we've been campaigning for nearly a year and our job as a campaign is to make sure we get our message out the best we can under the rules that were given. You know when i got into this race in january. Our big priority was to see if we could somehow get enough support and donations to make it onto that first debate stage and now we'rein, that top tier, but we're taking nothing for granted. We know that we have to work in order to continue earning support and that's what we're doing on the air and on the ground. Is there an issue, though, right now, within this democratic party, have you been able to rationalize why the stage and december will look the way that it does? You know i will leave debate rules to the dnc. What i will say is that there is great value in the diversity of the field that we've had and will continue to be great. There will continue to be great value in ensuring that we have diverse voices in the leadership of the democratic partyhey news viewers, thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch. The latest interviews show highlights, and digital exclusives thanks for watching.

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