Buttigieg jokes about crowded Democratic field: 'We might as well carpool'

Buttigieg jokes about crowded Democratic field: 'We might as well carpool'
© Greg Nash

South Bend Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegO'Rourke responds to Buttigieg's gun criticism: 'That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place' Buttigieg: Biden gave 'bad' debate answer on slavery's legacy O'Rourke's debate moment reignites gun debate on Sunday shows MORE (D) joked Saturday about the sizable 2020 Democratic primary field, quipping that he and his fellow primary contenders "might as well carpool."

Buttigieg made the joke at a campaign event in Iowa, the site of the first caucuses of the 2020 primary, where he told a crowd in Des Moines that the Democrats "might as well carpool" as they travel around the early primary states, CNN reported.

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"You would be surprised how often we are in dialogue with each other," Buttigieg added. "And as these cattle calls pick up we are going to get to know each other better and better."

Buttigieg also said during the event that he hopes the party will unify after the primaries end, telling his audience that he didn't see it "as having opponents so much as competitors."

The South Bend mayor registered at 9 points in an Economist/YouGov survey this week, ahead of much of his competition in the Democratic primary. Still, he trails behind frontrunners including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden bemoans white supremacy in remarks at civil rights movement site Gun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate MORE (D) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (I-Vt.), and has in recent weeks fallen behind Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Democrats spar over electoral appeal of 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Mass.).

Other presidential contenders, including Biden, have joked about the size of the Democratic presidential primary, which now hosts 24 hopefuls.

“There's a lot of people who are qualified and decent and running,” Biden quipped at a campaign event last month. “And I think it's one heck of a field, although I never anticipated there'd be 300 people running.”