2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said he would “not have applied” the same “pressure” as Democratic leadership to push for former Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s resignation during his Monday night town hall on MSNBC.
“Al Franken,” host Chris Matthews started. “Should he have been pushed to resign from the U.S. Senate by the Democratic caucus — his fellow caucus members?”
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor answered, “I think it was his decision to make, but I think the way that we basically held him to a higher standard than the GOP does their people has been used against us.”
“Do you think he should have been pushed to leave?” Matthews pushed.
“Again, it was his decision. I think that —” the mayor responded before being cut off. (RELATED: Pete Buttigieg Surges In Latest Democratic 2020 Emerson Poll)
Matthews reiterated his question, “But I’m not asking you about his decision. Should the other members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate starting at the top — Chuck Schumer down and the other people who pushed him to get out, they put a lot of pressure on him to leave. Were they right or wrong?”
“Well, it’s not a bad thing that we hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Buttigieg relented. “I would not have applied that amount of pressure at that time before we knew more.”
Franken resigned from the Senate back in Dec. 2017, after facing accusations from at least six women of groping and improper advances. One of the most ardent Democrats calling for his resignation was fellow presidential candidate, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
At another point during the town hall, Matthews asked Buttigieg to name a living Republican he respected, but he couldn’t.
Buttigieg came in fourth in a recent Morning Consult poll with 7% of the vote from those who were surveyed from May 20-26 2019. Former Vice President Joe Biden, 38%; independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 20%; and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 9% are ahead of him.