Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been cleaning the clocks of Fox News hosts on their turf lately. The out politician was among the first of the Democratic primary presidential candidates to endorse Joe Biden. And he recently helped Sen. Kamala Harris with her vice-presidential debate prep by standing in as Mike Pence, something he knows a little bit about having faced off with Pence in their home state of Indiana before.
In the ramp-up to the election, Buttigieg has made several appearances on Fox News where the hosts' attempts to do a “gotcha” on him or his party have failed miserably thanks to Buttigieg’s sharp wit and grasp of the facts.
Buttigieg lit into Fox News’ Martha McCallum when she thought she was being clever in asking him why Harris moved away from the Medicare for All stance she’d adopted in the primary when she was running her own campaign. The fact that she’s now on Biden’s ticket and therefore moved toward his policy is the easy answer, but Buttigieg seized the moment to point out Pence’s hypocrisy.
“Well, there’s a classic parlor game of trying to find a little bit of daylight between running mates,” Buttigieg said.
“If people want to play that game, we could look into why an evangelical Christian like Mike Pence wants to be on a ticket with a president caught with a porn star,” Buttigieg said, highlighting how Pence only leans into his faith when it’s convenient to court evangelicals.
He also called out Pence’s moving target regarding Donald Trump’s immigration policy. He said that Pence could be asked how he “feels about the immigration policy he called unconstitutional before he decided to team up with Donald Trump. If folks want to play that game, we could do it all night.”
Buttigieg then pivoted to the Trump administration’s failure to keep Americans safe in the pandemic.
“I think what most Americans want to hear about is, are our families going to be better protected than they have been by this president who’s failed to secure America in the face of one of the most dangerous things ever to happen to our country?” he said.
In a separate interview, Buttigieg attacked Trump’s tantrum over the next presidential debate going virtual amid his COVID-19 diagnosis.
"It’s too bad. I don’t know why the president’s afraid to debate. All of us have had to get used to a virtual format," Buttigieg began. "Parents are having to deal with e-learning, which is not what we’re used to. We’re having to take meetings over Zoom. It’s not something I think most of us enjoy, but it’s a safety measure.
"I think part of why the U.S. is badly behind the rest of the developed world on dealing with the pandemic is because every time there’s been a choice between doing something in a way that’s more safe or less safe, this president seems to push for less safe.
"Of course, the only reason we're here in the first place is that the president is still contagious with a deadly disease," he said.
Buttigieg then dug in further, discussing the weakness of Trump’s campaign and the bad press he’s amassed in recent weeks.