Tuesday, South Bend, Indiana Mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg spoke to a Montgomery round table discussion on healthcare. Press was barred from the roundtable discussion, but afterward, Mayor Buttigieg addressed the assembled Capitol Press Corps plus national reporters covering the campaign.
Buttigieg said that the roundtable was an important discussion with people who are, “Delivering healthcare to the most needy.”
Mayor Buttigieg emphasized his defense of “women’s reproductive rights” and denounced the Alabama law banning most abortions in the state, which he called an “Assault on women’s reproductive rights.”
Buttigieg described the controversial Roe v. Wade decision ending state laws banning abortion as “settled law” and said that most of the country supported it.
Buttigieg promised if re-elected that he would reinvigorate the civil rights division at HHS and address “Differences in life expectancies” between Blacks and Whites, while empower local governments who are trying to help provide healthcare services.
“Our message is resonating and has a lot to offer Montgomery,” Buttigieg said.
Earlier in the day, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (California) announced that she was ending her campaign for President.
“I really admire Senator Harris. She ran a great race,” Buttigieg said. “Black women are still underrepresented in leadership.”
“The field has been historically diverse,” Buttigieg said. “She has been a formidable figure both as a leader and in the Senate/”
A reporter asked Buttigieg what he had learned from Sen. Harris.
“You learn a lot being around fellow Democrat that share the same core values,” Buttigieg said.
The Alabama Political Reporter asked: Is Joe Biden’s campaign crippled in a general election by GOP allegations that his son, Hunter, profiteered from his father’s tenure as Vice President?
“I think this President and his campaign will find vulnerability or invent vulnerability in any candidate that we nominate,” Buttigieg said.
“Democrats will win if we demonstrate that we have the best message,” Buttigieg added. “We have the right answers for the American people and that is why we will win.”
Buttigieg said that he hoped to win the support of Black voters by talking “About our vision for Black Americans.”
Buttigieg said that his Frederick Douglas plan would end systemic racism in wages.
One Reporters asked Buttigieg about comments from Biden that Buttigieg had copied his healthcare plan.
Buttigieg said that he had introduced his Medicare for All who wants it plan in February, before Biden was even in the race.
Buttigieg, if elected, would be the first known gay man elected President of the United States.
Buttigieg is leading in recent polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to hold their caucuses and primaries. Former Vice President Joe Biden leads in national polls. The Buttigieg team hopes that their message will resonate in southern states like South Carolina and Alabama like it appears to be resonating with likely Democratic caucus and primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Buttigieg will be in Birmingham today for a meeting with local leaders.
The Alabama presidential primary will be March 3.