Dem 2020 hopeful Buttigieg touts his experience level, compares it to Trump's

Dem 2020 hopeful Buttigieg touts his experience level, compares it to Trump's
© Greg Nash

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), who Wednesday announced an exploratory committee for a presidential run, disputed speculation that he is not seasoned enough to be elected in 2020, noting his experience level compared to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE's. 

“I have more years of experience in government than the president of the United States does, I have more years of executive experience than the vice president of the United States has, and I have more military experience than the two of them put together," Buttigieg, a 37-year-old Navy Reserve veteran, said on KCBS radio

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“I get that I’m the youngest person in this conversation, but I also believe that experience is one of the reasons I should be in the mix. The experience of guiding the comeback of a city that was written off in national media as dying at the beginning of this decade and is now growing again in the industrial Midwest not through nostalgia, not through resentment, but through real problem solving, getting things done in accordance with our values. I think that’s what we need to bring to the table in Washington.”

Buttigieg entered what is expected to be a crowded primary field that could see as many as 30 candidates fighting for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

The Indiana Democrat is likely to face other candidates such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Giuliani says he discussed Biden with Ukrainian official MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKrystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One; Lauren Claffey: Is AOC wrong about the Electoral College? Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill MORE (D-N.Y.) with larger name recognition, deeper pockets and campaigns staffed by top party talent.

“With all due respect to some of the other federal offices that people hold and the good people who hold them, I’m not sure that what we want is more of what we’ve been seeing in the United States Congress compared to what we’ve been seeing in our best-run American cities,” he said.

“At least of the people who have jumped in, I’m the only one who is living a middle-class lifestyle in a middle-class neighborhood in middle America,” he added in comments to reporters in Washington Wednesday.

Buttigieg could benefit from a crowded primary field in which several of the perceived front-runners divide the vote amongst themselves and carve a path for a candidate who could cast themselves as a Washington outsider with political experience.

The South Bend mayor was first elected in 2011 at age 29. He became the youngest person to serve as the mayor of a city with a population of more than 100,000 when he took office in 2012, and he won a second term in 2015. 

An unsuccessful bid for Democratic National Committee chairmanship in 2017 helped raise Buttigieg’s national profile.