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 TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference 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 BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris 2020 Dems ratchet up anti-corporate talk in bid to woo unions Resurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Wage growth shaping up as key 2020 factor for Trump Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' Tulsi Gabbard fundraises off 4/20: 'Appalls me' that feds consider marijuana illegal MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTim Ryan doesn't back impeachment proceedings against Trump Schiff: Democrats 'may' take up impeachment proceedings Trump claims Democrats' plans to probe admin will cost them 'big time' in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' 2020 Dems ratchet up anti-corporate talk in bid to woo unions 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.