Known as “Mayor Pete,” Pete Buttigieg is the two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He’s a Harvard graduate, part-time pianist, “smart sewer” advocate and a prominent member of the millennial generation. He will soon turn 38 and would be the youngest person ever elected to the White House if he wins.
Buttigieg is also a Rhodes Scholar and member of the Navy Reserves. In 2013, two years into his first term as mayor, he was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months.
Former President Barack Obama once called Buttigieg — who won the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award for an essay about Bernie Sanders — the future of the Democratic Party. In 2016, Buttigieg launched an unsuccessful campaign for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Buttigieg would be the first openly gay president.
Here is where Buttigieg stands on the key issues in the 2020 presidential election.
Climate change: Thinks climate change is a national security threat. Supports the Paris climate accord.
Buttigieg considers climate change a national security threat and a “longterm” problem that will especially impact younger Americans and future generations. He supports every U.S. house becoming “net zero” consumer of energy, and is in favor of the government subsidizing solar panels. Buttigieg was one of 407 U.S. mayors who signed a pact to adhere to the Paris climate accord after President Donald Trump pulled out of the international agreement 2017. He also supports the “Green New Deal” proposals on climate and energy being floated by progressive House Democrats.
Economy/trade: Supports labor. Thinks NAFTA resulted in significant jobs losses.
The Democrat thinks NAFTA caused irreplaceable job losses across the industrial Midwest. He is a strong supporter of labor and union groups, and says Democrats must work harder to advocate for working people and help them achieve economic stability.
Guns: Supports universal background checks.
As the mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that advocates for gun control legislation at the state and federal level. He also supports universal background checks, and opposed allowing guns in schools and so-called “Stand Your Ground” self-defense gun laws.
Foreign policy: Supports pulling troops out of Afghanistan.
Buttigieg says his experience serving as a Navy intelligence officer in Afghanistan helped shaped his views on American policy in the Middle East. Like other 2020 Democratic candidates, he has criticized Trump for conducting foreign policy by tweet. Buttigieg supports pulling troops out of Afghanistan, but has criticized Trump’s plans to withdraw from Syria. He has also said Iran poses the greatest threat to Israel in the Middle East.
Health care: Supports single-payer system.
Buttigieg says he’s “all for” a single-payer health care system. But he has said he wouldn’t immediately jump to single-payer from the current system. Instead, Buttigieg would first implement an all-payer rate setting — a system that would not eliminate private insurance companies.
Immigration: Supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Buttigieg supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and would like to see Congress pass a law creating pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. He also opposes the Trump administration’s aggressive deportation policies, and was involved in a high-profile case in Granger, Indiana, which resulted in the deportation of an undocumented immigrant who had lived in the U.S for 17 years.
He also vehemently opposes sending American troops to the southern border, calling the move “a waste of their time.” The South Bend mayor says American foreign policy dictates troops should only be deployed if all other modes of diplomacy fail, and the U.S. should return to that policy.
Social issues: Supports a federal non-discrimination amendment.
Buttigieg favors passing the Federal Equality Act, an amendment to existing civil rights legislation that would give federal non-discrimination protections to LBGTQ people. He opposes the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. He also supports gender reassignment surgery for transgender people in prison.