Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday that he didn’t believe a presidential debate moderated by podcast giant Joe Rogan would be “neutral.”
Buttigieg, who appeared on ABC’s “The View” alongside husband Chasten, suggested that President Donald Trump was jumping on the idea because it was a convenient distraction and argued that Rogan could not be a neutral moderator. (RELATED: Meghan McCain Wants A Joe Rogan Debate: ‘We Should Be Asking Both Candidates Uncomfortable Questions’)
Host Meghan McCain put the question to Buttigieg, noting that he had campaigned on being a younger, fresher voice and had not shied away from doing interviews in more unorthodox settings.
“Would you advise Biden to accept Rogan’s offer or maybe go to another unorthodox place to debate President Trump?” she asked.
Buttigieg said that he had loved shaking thing up on the campaign trail, but he was certainly wary of the idea of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden debating with Rogan as a moderator.
“The whole idea of a debate moderator is somebody who is neutral. And if one of them is being pushed by one of the two candidates, one of the two parties to the debate, it kind of kills the whole idea it’s going to be neutral,” Buttigieg explained, apparently referencing the fact that President Donald Trump had already jumped on the idea. “Look, we have an entire commission on presidential debates designed around making sure we have a fair process.”
Buttigieg went on to say that he felt as though it was “a fun conversation” to discuss a potential debate featuring Rogan as a moderator, it might be serving as a distraction from other important issues.
“To me, even though I think it’s kind of a fun conversation to have, I can’t help but wonder why the president wants us talking about this,” Buttigieg said. “I think he wants us talking about this so we’re not talking about the fact that a major part of our country is on fire, that that has to do with climate change and he doesn’t think it’s real. Not to mention the continued failure to deal with the pandemic and is causing such economic pain around us.”
Trump’s greatest talent, Buttigieg claimed, was “changing the subject”— and he hoped that people would see that and not allow him to do it.
“While it’s a fun subject to talk about, I don’t think it’s the most important one that’s going to decide how the presidential election is going to be chosen and what’s at stake right now. This isn’t about the show. This isn’t about whether there’s going to be, you know, a lot of sizzle in the debates,” Buttigieg concluded, arguing that a failure to focus on what was important could result in four more years of President Trump.