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Heres how Pete Buttigieg fared at the latest Democratic presidential …

Pete Buttigieg

Heres how Pete Buttigieg fared at the latest Democratic presidential …

In the final Democratic presidential debate before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was one of six candidates who qualified to …

Here’s how Pete Buttigieg fared at the latest Democratic presidential debate | Local | southbendtribune.com

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Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Patrick Semansky

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Here’s how Pete Buttigieg fared at the latest Democratic presidential debate

Jan 15, 2020

5 hrs ago

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Patrick Semansky

In the final Democratic presidential debate before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was one of six candidates who qualified to take the stage at Drake University on Tuesday night. Here’s a look at the highlights involving Buttigieg, in chronological order:

Klobuchar opts against going negative against Buttigieg

Despite the critical nature of the final debate before the Iowa caucuses, the candidates rarely went after each other. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar seemed to signal that tone early.

In light of the recent tensions between the United States and Iran, the first question asked the candidates why they are best prepared to be commander in chief.

In directing the question to Klobuchar, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer noted that she has publicly questioned Buttigieg’s experience. Blitzer asked why her time as a senator is more valuable than Buttigieg’s time as a Naval intelligence officer in Afghanistan and as a mayor.

But Klobuchar declined to go there this time.

“I’ve been clear that I respect the mayor’s experience very much in the military,” she said. “I just have different experience. I’ve been in the U.S. senate for over 12 years and I think what you want in a president is someone who has dealt with these life and death issues and who has made decisions.”

Buttigieg highlights military veteran status, youth

In fielding the commander-in-chief question, Buttigieg, the only military veteran on the stage, parlayed that status with his appeal for generational change as the youngest candidate.

“I bring a different perspective,” Buttigieg said. “There are enlisted people that I served with, barely old enough to remember those votes on the authorization after 9/11, on the war in Iraq. There are people now old enough to enlist who were not alive during those debates.”

He then seemed to lean into his youth.

“The next president is going to be confronted with challenges different in scope and in kind from anything we’ve seen before,” Buttigieg said. “Not just conventional military challenges, not just stateless terrorism, but cybersecurity challenges, climate security challenges, foreign interference in our elections. It’s going to take a view to the future as well as the readiness to learn from the lessons of the past, and for me those lessons from the past are personal.”

Buttigieg seized the opportunity again when the candidates were asked whether the United States should remove its troops from the Middle East.

He said the U.S. can “remain engaged” without having troops on the ground, while noting Trump recently sent more troops there in response to Iran’s threat to retaliate for Trump’s order to kill the country’s top military official.

“Whenever I see that happen, I think about the day we shipped out, and the time we set aside for saying goodbye to family members,” Buttigieg said. “I remember walking with a friend of mine, another lieutenant I trained with, as we walked away and his 1-½-year-old boy was toddling after him, not understanding why his father wasn’t turning back to scoop him up. It took all the strength he had not to turn around and look at his boy one more time.”

Steyer tees up climate change for Buttigieg

Billionaire businessman Tom Steyer, who has vowed to declare climate change a national emergency if elected, said he has four children between the ages of 26 and 31.

“I cannot allow this country to go down the path of climate destruction,” Steyer said. “Everyone in their generation knows it. Frankly, Mayor Buttigieg, you’re their generation. I think you would be standing up more.”

Because of debate rules that allow a candidate to speak if another candidate names him, Buttigieg was given the floor.

“Well that’s right,” Buttigieg said. “This issue is personal for me. That’s why we’re going to tackle the climate from day one. People have been saying the right things in these debates for literally decades.”

Buttigieg said he met a child this week at his town hall in nearby Winterset.

“He raised his hand and pointed out that he expects to be here in his 90s in the year 2100,” Buttigieg said. “He will sit in judgment over what we do.”

Warren and Buttigieg spar on Medicare for All

Buttigieg, who has called for “Medicare for All Who Want It,” offering a publicly funded health care plan while allowing people to remain on their private plans, engaged in a back-and-forth with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She began her campaign advocating for Medicare for All before shifting to a plan that would transition to that outcome.

Buttigieg said his plan would cost only $1.5 trillion, compared to the $20 to $40 trillion costs of Warren’s and Vermon Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposals.

“The problem is,” Warren said, “plans like the mayor’s and the vice president’s is that they are an improvement over where we are right now, but they’re a small improvement. That’s why they cost so much less. What we need to do is … ask the top 1% to pay a little more… when we do that we have enough money to provide health care for all our people.”

“It’s just not true that the plan I’m proposing is small,” Buttigieg replied. “We’ve got to move past the Washington mentality that suggests that the bigness of plans only consists of the trillions of dollars that they put through the Treasury. This would be a game changer, the biggest thing we’ve done to American health care in a half century.”

Buttigieg again faces question on black support

When questioning the candidates on their ability to beat Trump, CNN’s Abby Phillip told Buttigieg that polling shows him with “next to no black support.” She asked him whether it’s possible that black voters have gotten to know him and still are choosing other candidates.

“The black voters who know me best support me,” Buttigieg said, naming endorsements he has received from black elected officials in South Bend, Iowa and elsewhere. “The reason I have the support I do is not because any voter thinks I am perfect, it’s because of the work that we have done.”

Going toe-to-toe with Trump

Buttigieg got the chance to elaborate on his electability after Steyer said Buttigieg had spent only three years as an “analyst” at McKinsey, while he had 30 years of international business experience.

Buttigieg, given the floor, joked that Steyer had demoted him since he was actually an “associate,” but he quickly pivoted to Trump.

“I am ready to take on this president on the economy because I am from the exact kind of industrial Midwestern community that he pretends to speak to, and has proven to turn his back on,” Buttigieg said, “and guided that community through a historic transformation. When he gets to the tough talk and the chest thumping, he’ll have to stand next to an American war veteran and explain how he pretended bone spurs made him ineligible to serve.”

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