Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg claims Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is attracting the same kind of supporters who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor was in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Friday talking to a high school Democrats group when he made the comparison between his rival and the president, the Washington Examiner noted.
“I think the sense of anger and disaffection that comes from seeing that the numbers are fine — like, unemployment’s low … GDP is growing, and yet, a lot of neighborhoods and families are living like this recovery never even happened. They’re stuck,” Buttigieg started.
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks during a town hall meeting in Fort Dodge, Iowa, U.S., Apr. 16, 2019. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage”It just kind of turns you against the system in general, and then you’re more likely to want to vote to blow up the system, which could lead you to somebody like Bernie, and it could lead you to somebody like Trump. That’s how we got where we are.” (RELATED: Pete Buttigieg Said ‘All Lives Matter’ In 2015)
Buttigieg saw Sanders though an entirely different prism when he wrote a hagiographic piece on the independent senator in 2000, the Examiner noted.
There are 40 years separating the mayor and 77-year-old Sanders and Buttigieg acknowledged that the age difference makes running against his former political idol seem “strange.”
“Part of running for president is you wind up competing with people that you like or appreciated or admired many years back. I don’t have the same views on everything that he does,” Buttigieg told the students, though he didn’t specify what those views are.
His open homosexuality has provoked opposition from social conservatives — though not from Sanders. (RELATED: Buttigieg Doubts That Trump Believes In God)
A virtual unknown throughout 2018, the new year has seen Buttigieg’s political star rise. But while he is now on the presidential candidate radar, his best polling shows he has 9% support from 2020 voters with Sanders at 29%. That survey also included former Vice President Joe Biden, who is assumed to announce his candidacy for president soon.