“I believe we might find that we have a lot in common,” Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said during an event hosted by Citizens for Common Sense.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is facing backlash over a resurfaced video from 2010 in which he offered words of praise for the right-wing Tea Party movement and expressed a desire to find common ground.
During an October 2010 forum in Indiana hosted by the Tea Party-affiliated group Citizens for Common Sense, Buttigieg—then a candidate for Indiana state treasurer—told the audience that “there’s some, especially in my party, who think the Tea Party’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.”
“But there are many others who believe that the Tea Party’s motivated by real concerns about the direction of our government, and the responses of our government to citizens,” Buttigieg said. “And above all a frustration with business as usual. That is what motivated me to run. And so while we may come from often very different perspectives, I believe we might find that we have a lot in common.”
Buttigieg’s remarks went viral Monday night after self-described progressive activist Ryan Knight and others posted a clip of the 2010 speech on Twitter.
“Here’s Pete Buttigieg speaking at a Tea Party event during Obama’s presidency and praising them for their concerns about the ‘direction’ of the country,” Knight tweeted. “The Tea Party is the racist movement that rose up after Obama was elected. This video is disqualifying.”
Journalist Walker Bragman noted that billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch were a major financial force behind the Tea Party movement, which emerged in 2009 during the Wall Street crash.
“They pumped millions of dollars into electing race-baiting, right-wing fringe candidates willing to deregulate their businesses and lower their taxes,” Bragman tweeted.
Behind the Tea Party wave were two free market loving billionaire brothers: Charles and David Koch. They pumped millions of dollars into electing race-baiting, right-wing fringe candidates willing to deregulate their businesses and lower their taxes. https://t.co/pcP5msfDqc
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) November 19, 2019
Sean Savett, rapid response communications director for the Buttigieg presidential campaign, pushed back Monday night against criticism of the South Bend mayor’s remarks.
“Pete’s comments in this video are nearly identical to what President Obama said about the Tea Party’s concerns three weeks later,” Savett tweeted. “They’re also similar to what [former] Vice President [Joe] Biden said earlier that year.”
Your guide to the 2020 Democrats: Who’s in, who’s out and WTF is going on anyway?
There's a frontrunner, who has led almost every national poll since last winter, allowing for a few outlier polls and a brief period around the end of the summer. There are three other leading contenders, two of whom have been near the top of the polls for months, while the third only recently emerged from the pack. There is a pack of dark-horse candidates, whose odds of being elected president now approach zero but who remain in the race for various reasons. There are some with no shot at all. There are two fringe candidates, likely using this campaign to explore career options. And there's a pair of billionaires who hope to buy their way to the presidency by spending alarming amounts of money on campaign ads. That probably won't work — but you might have heard the same thing about another billionaire in that other party, a few years back.
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WATCH LIVE: House Judiciary Committee holds second day of hearings on the impeachment of Donald Trump
The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee takes up the impeachment of Donald Trump again on Monday morning, with lawmakers expected to hear evidence against the president that could lead to a Senate trial for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Monday's hearing will include opening arguments "made by Barry H. Berke for the committee Democrats and Stephen R. Castor for the Republicans. Daniel S. Goldman, the Democratic counsel for the House Intelligence Committee, will then present the evidence for impeachment, and Mr. Castor will present the evidence against it. Judiciary Committee members will then ask questions," reports the New York Times.