Buttigieg says differences between Biden and Trump are 'almost punching us in the face'

Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegJD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary The Hill's Morning Report - High-profile COVID-19 infections spark new worries MORE said Sunday that the differences between Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden on hecklers: 'This is not a Trump rally. Let 'em holler' MORE and President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE are so stark that they are "almost punching us in the face.”

The former South Bend, Ind. mayor told NBC News’s “Meet the Press” that Biden and Trump differ not on “how,” but “whether” the U.S. will try to combat climate change or provide health care to all Americans.

Buttigieg also hit Trump on his previous comments that COVID-19 would disappear and highlighted Biden, who he said “believes that questions of science and medicine ought to be settled by taking the advice of scientists and doctors.”

“On every major issue, the difference is so stark, it’s almost punching us in the face,” he added. 

When moderator Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddNFL Network's Rich Eisen says he has COVID-19 despite being vaccinated Newsmax host suggests vaccines 'against nature' Senate Armed Services chair: 'I think Kabul will hold' MORE asked about the Democratic Party not issuing “more detailed policy prescriptions,” Buttigieg said the policies are “abundantly clear” and available on Biden’s website. 

“This is not just a question of what the federal government is going to do,” he said. “This is a question of who Americans are, what America is. And if you believe that America should be and is defined by democracy, if you believe that America has to be a country that makes room for everybody, the choice couldn’t be clearer.”

The former mayor also blamed White House’s “inaction” for the economy being in “such precarious shape,” predicting it will likely get worse “as we go into the fall.”

“So if they want a battle on the economy, let's have that battle,” he said. “But let's also remember that our democracy, our national character and our ability to fight a deadly pandemic are all on the line.”

Buttigieg endorsed Biden after suspending his campaign following the former vice president’s win in the South Carolina primary. His and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Competition laws could be a death knell for startup mergers and acquisitions MORE’s (D-Minn.) campaign suspensions allowed Biden to dominate in the Super Tuesday primaries.