TRANSCRIPT: Pete Buttigieg press gaggle 5/27/2019

Hi friends,

Buttigieg made news with a short quote on Trump’s comments on Biden/Kim Jong Un. The following is a transcript of Pete Buttigieg’s brief press gaggle during the morning of 5/27/2019.

— Marcus


Q: What advice do you have for veterans who get out, they really miss the mission and all the direction that -- and they struggle to find the same sense of purpose as a civilian. Can you talk a little bit about your journey with that, and what your advice is for the veterans that--

Q: I mean, when you're in uniform, your role in uniform gives you a very strong sense of community, identity, and purpose. And it can be disorienting when you leave that, even for me coming off active duty to return to my job as mayor, even that was was a big adjustment. The biggest thing is community.

And we need to make sure that our communities lift people up, invite people to do more than just say thank you for your service. But if you reach out to people who know you, or people who just want to help, there's a whole country full of people want to make sure we do right by our veterans, I think sometimes we just got to draw those connections and make those links actually happen.

Q: So what does your hometown, South Bend, mean to you?

Well, this is a town that shaped me. And it's a community that I think reflects a lot of what's happening in America more generally. We’re a diverse community, we're experiencing economic change. And I think the way that this community which has had major struggles, but the way this community has managed to find a way to grow… is a good example of how the whole country can find a way forward at a time when it's been divided, and struggling to deal with change.

Q: People are so excited, they say you’re the next President. How do you answer this?

A: It's very encouraging to know that the people who know me best, here in this community, are very supportive. But of course, we've got a whole country to get to know and not a lot of time to do it. So now I've got to take South Bend’s story and work it into America story and share that from coast to coast.

Q: [off mic question about tensions with Iran].

A: I'm extremely concerned about what appears to be an escalation with respect to Iran, not only because it's unclear what the administration's policy is, but also because I'm afraid this could actually get away from the President. It wouldn't be the first time he's lost control an international dynamic, and he could be starting a chain reaction that even the White House couldn’t stop, if we learned anything in my lifetime, when it comes to conflict in the Middle East, is that you should not engage in armed conflict or armed escalation, unless there is no alternative. [one word is inaudible here] You better know exactly what you're doing.

Q: [off mic question about Trump/Joe Biden/KJU]

A: My thoughts on that are that Kim Jong Un is a murderous dictator and the Vice President Biden served this country honorably. It's just one more example, though, of the way that this President tries to draw attention to himself by saying things that shock the conscience, to distract us from his deep unpopularity and the deep unpopularity of the Republicans’ governing agenda.