Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg once helped Best Buy market green home tech, was part of a project encouraging entrepreneurship in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan, and appears to have played a role in cost-cutting efforts at a health insurance provider in Michigan.
Buttigieg released details of his work history at McKinsley & Company in a Medium post where he decried demonizing candidates for private-sector work.
"Now, voters can see for themselves that my work amounted to mostly research and analysis," Buttigieg wrote.
"At the same time, I am also concerned about efforts to demonize and disqualify people who have worked in the private sector for the sake of political purity. The majority of Americans have worked in the private sector at some point in their life. Good public servants -- including recent Democratic presidents -- have worked in the private sector at some point in their lives. I'm concerned about how these attacks pull the focus away from the very real issues voters across America are facing -- from health care to gun violence -- just as we are about to enter the most consequential election of our lifetimes," he wrote.
The out presidential candidate released details of his work history after McKinsey released him from a nondisclosure agreement. That followed intense criticism over the lack of transparency over his work at the firm, which has provided services for authoritarian dictators and opioid providers. Notably, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pushed Buttigieg at a forum last week on the need to release details on his employment.
It's unlikely the release of information by Buttigieg will completely erase concerns. For example, his Medium post discloses Buttigieg worked on projects for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Crain's Detroit Business at the time reported that meant up to 1,000 layoffs at a major employer at the peak of the Great Recession. Considering Michigan was among traditionally Democratic states that swung to President Donald Trump in 2016 and is considering a must-win for Democrats to retake the presidency, that's a weak spot should Buttigieg become the Democratic nominee.
"He doesn't win Michigan," U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib bluntly wrote on Twitter.
Buttigieg also appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show Tuesday night, where Maddow asked directly if his work for Blue Cross Blue Shield led directly to the layoffs.
"I doubt it," Buttigieg said. "I don't know what happened in the time after I left. That was in 2007, when they decided to shrink in 2009. Now what I do know is there are some voices in the Democratic primary right now who are calling for policy that would eliminate the job of every single American working at every single insurance company in the country."
That seemed a clear deflection to critiquing opponents like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who favor Medicare for All.
Canadians don't vote for president, but Buttigieg also disclosed work for Canadian grocer Loblaw when the company's reputation was marred by a price-fixing scandal on bread, as reported by The Globe and Mail at the time.