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Importantville: Buttigieg Speaks To Young Dems In Indy

What's happening—and what's next—at the intersection of Indiana politics and business?

Welcome to Importantville.

Speaking to the Young Democrats of America convention here, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled a new rebuke of Republicans tonight, declaring the Reagan era over.

The New Deal era ended with Reagan,” Buttigieg said. “The Reagan era ends with us.”

It didn’t take Buttigieg long before he attacked Vice President Mike Pence. “You can’t judge our state by the current VP,” he said.

Buttigieg also addressed Republican attacks against the so-called squad—Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. “They want to change the subject to the race & origin of four progressive young Congresswomen, so that everyone forgets what those members of Congress are actually working on—which, today, is raising the min. wage,” Buttigieg said of Republicans.

Buttigieg framed his address, a newly crafted version of his stump speech, as a generational appeal to younger voters. “I want to attend the Young Democrats convention in 2055,” Buttigieg said in prepared remarks. “That year, God willing, I’ll be the current age of the current president. I will be retired. And I will be there to remind young people of the power they have if they rise up together. And I will prove my point by telling them what we did in 2020.”

Other Key Soundbites:

  • On Republican attacks that he hasn’t been in Indiana much: “That’s cute—Indiana is my home,” he told reporters after his speech.
  • On whether he wants to win over Trump voters who last night at the rally chanted, “Send her back,” do you want to win those voters over, and if so how?”: “No, the reality is there are a lot of committed racists whose vote I’m never going to get and that’s alright. There’s also some people who I think are thinking twice about the votes that they cast in 2016. There are a lot of Republicans of conscience who will say, ‘This far but no further.’ And there are a lot of people who simply voted to burn the house now. And now that the house is on fire, it’s time to actually put it somebody who’s going to do something about the future.”

Indiana GOP Response:

“After spending more time recently in places like Iowa, New Hampshire, New York and California than the city he’s employed to lead, it’s great to finally welcome Pete Buttigieg back to Indiana.”

“We hope Buttigieg can squeeze in a trip to South Bend while he’s here, where he might find time out of his busy schedule of big-dollar fundraisers with liberal celebrities to address his city’s vast issue of residents not even feeling safe in their own neighborhoods. The question stands that if Pete Buttigieg can’t even handle being mayor of South Bend, what makes him think he could handle being president?”

RNC Response:

“Pete Buttigieg’s embrace of the socialist squad with open arms exemplifies his desires to turn America into a socialist country that gives anti-Semitism and anti-American rhetoric a voice,” RNC Spokesperson Michael Joyce said in a statement. “Hoosiers and Americans alike will reject Buttigieg’s far-left vision for the country at a time when President Trump’s red hot economy continues to deliver for all Americans.”

The Buttigieg Beat:

“Here’s what Donald Trump says Mike Pence told him about Pete Buttigieg’s job as mayor,” by Chris Rickett in The Indianapolis Star:

He runs a failed city. His city is doing so badly. Mike Pence was the governor of that state. I said, ‘How was he as the mayor?’” Trump said. “Mike is one of the nicest human beings you’ll ever meet, and Mike said, ‘He never did a good job. I’m so shocked to see him running.’”

And then he goes back home, and African Americans literally were so angry at him for the lousy job — that he’s supposed to be a hot young star. If that’s a hot young star, I guess I just don’t know stardom anymore.”

Hoosier Republicans on “Send her back” Chants:

From USA Today pooler David Jackson with President Trump: “Asked why he did not stop chant: ‘I think I did – I started speaking very quickly.’ He added: “I was not happy with it – I disagree with it.”

Sen. Todd Young:

“Some of the sentiments that I heard from the crowd are very inconsistent with my own. I think if the country – Republicans and Democrats alike – are focused on policies as opposed to people that’s going to be in the best interest of everyone.”

Sen. Mike Braun:

“Like President Trump, I am not happy about these remarks and disagree with them.”

Rep. Jim Banks, via Press Secretary T.W. Arrighi:

He’s not a fan.

Adam Wren writes about business, politics, and crime for Indianapolis Monthly—often in the same story.

Follow him on Twitter @adamwren or visit his website at adamwren.me.
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