On Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate and former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg weighed in on the Democratic Party’s electoral prospects. Speaking at the Our Rights, Our Courts presidential forum, Buttigieg said that Democrats are “screwed” if they don’t win majorities in the United States Congress, according to The Hill.
“If we can’t change Congress, we’re screwed,” Buttigieg said, adding that the 2020 presidential election is the Democratic Party’s “only chance to defeat Donald Trump, but we’ve also got to do it with a big enough margin that it sends Trumpism into the history books.”
“Part of that means making sure that his enablers in Congress are rejected too,” he added.
Buttigieg also weighed in on Trump’s impeachment trial, criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the way he handled the process. “It was a discouraging, dispiriting, exhausting experience to watch what happened in Mitch McConnell’s Senate when it came to this trial, this show trial,” he said, reiterating that Democrats need to win back the United States Senate in 2020.
“The good news is it’s 2020, and we’re voters, and if the Senate was the jury this week, we the people are the jury now, and we get the final verdict.”
Buttigieg’s comments come following Trump’s acquittal in the GOP-controlled Senate. The process reached its epilogue relatively quickly, without the additional witnesses the Democrats asked for, and while McConnell was openly coordinating with the White House.
All Democrats voted to convict Trump, while only one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney, broke ranks with the GOP, voted to convict the commander-in-chief on the charge of obstruction of justice.
The former South Bend mayor has previously said that he feels “exhausted” by impeachment, but — like most Democratic White House hopefuls — he has not extensively commented on the issue while on the campaign trail.
Buttigieg, who entered the race as an outsider with almost no name recognition, is now in a strong position ahead of the New Hampshire primary, having seemingly tied for first place in the Iowa caucuses.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 8, 2020
In New Hampshire, according to the latest polling, Buttigieg is trailing Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont by seven points. The two men have separated themselves from the rest of the field, leaving candidates such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts far behind.
Buttigieg’s rise comes largely at Biden’s expense, it seems, with the former vice president’s conservative and moderate supporters switching to the 38-year-old. Biden has taken note of Buttigieg’s rise, and his campaign has released an attack ad targeting the former South Bend mayor’s lack of experience on the national stage.