Speaking Truth to Power, Two among the Republican candidates who do.

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NBC News , April 7 In an exclusive interview with Meet the Press, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.) talks to Chuck Todd about his 2020 presidential bid and why he believes Democrats are looking for generational change.

CHUCK TODD:
You said something rather strong about the president, that you said, “It’s hard to look at his actions and believe that they are the actions of somebody who believes in God.” How do you square that assessment with the fact that the Evangelical Christian community is so devoted to his candidacy?
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG:
Well, it’s something that really frustrates me because the hypocrisy is unbelievable. Here, you have somebody who not only acts in a way that is not consistent with anything that I hear in scripture or in church, where it’s about lifting up the least among us and taking care of strangers, which is another word for immigrants. And making sure that you’re focusing your effort on the poor. But also personally, how you’re supposed to conduct yourself. Not chest thumping look-at-me-ism, but humbling yourself before others. Foot washing is one of the central images in the New Testament. And we see the diametric opposite of that in this presidency. I think there was perhaps a cynical process where he decided to, for example, begin to pretend to be pro-life and govern accordingly. Which was good enough to bring many Evangelicals over to his side. But even on the version of Christianity that you hear from the religious right, which is about sexual ethics, I can’t believe that somebody who was caught writing hush money checks to adult film actresses is somebody they should be lifting up as the kind of person you want to be leading this nation.
CHUCK TODD:
You grew up in arguably the most famous Catholic town in the country. I’m curious on abortion. I know what your position is, but how do you have a conversation about it? You’re in a community that is extraordinarily divided on this. On this issue. You have pro-life Democrats that don’t necessarily get courted nationally anymore. How do you square that? And what is your definition? When does life begin and is there any role for government in abortion?
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG:
So as someone who’s pro-choice but who has many friends and even supporters who view this issue very differently than I do, I think it begins by having some measure of good faith. And understanding that people arrive at their convictions on this often from a deeply felt and sincerely held place. But in my view, this is a question that is almost unknowable. This is a moral question that’s not going to be settled by science. And so the best way for it to be settled in practice is by the person who actually faces the choice. And when a woman is facing this decision in her life, I think in terms of somebody besides her who can most be useful in that, the answer to that would be a doctor. Not a male government official imposing his interpretation of his religion.
CHUCK TODD:
All right. And the final question I want to ask you about: the Second Amendment. You come from a Second Amendment state, some might argue, whatever that means to folks. Do you think the Second Amendment, as it’s written, prevents gun control the way the Supreme Court says it does?
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG:
I don’t think it has to because we’ve already decided within the framework of the Second Amendment that we’re going to draw a line somewhere, right? “Shall not be infringed” clearly doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to a nuclear weapon. I mean, somewhere in between a slingshot and a nuclear weapon, we’re going to draw a line about what makes sense. In the same way that my right to free speech doesn’t include yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater, in the same way that, as one Supreme Court justice said, “My right to swing my fist ends where somebody else’s nose begins.” There are common sense limits that a thinking society can live by, while making sure that we honor the lifestyle of sporting, which is where so many family bonds are created. And they’re just a deep part of our tradition. And the idea that people should be equipped to defend themselves if they need to.
CHUCK TODD:
Unfortunately, I have to leave it there. But Pete Buttigieg, thanks for being on. Stay safe on the trail and I look forward to asking you more questions….
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG:
Sounds good. I’ll take that as an invite–

And then, a bit later, Buttigieg challenges Pence on LGBTQ rights: “Your quarrel is with my creator.”

by Emily Tillett, CBS News, April 8, 2019

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Buttigieg, in a speech at LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in Washington, D.C., on April 7 referenced the vice president’s less-than-welcoming attitude toward members of the LGBTQ community when discussing his marriage to his husband Chasten. He called marriage equality a moral issue, saying his marriage of two years has made him a “better human being.”

“My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man and yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God,” said Buttigieg, a devout Episcopalian.

Potential 2020 Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, delivered a pointed message for Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday, telling him to raise his objections with the gay community with God.

Buttigieg challenges Pence on LGBTQ rights: “Your quarrel is with my creator”
“I can tell you, that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” he added, to a room full of loud cheers. “And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pence’s of the world could understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

(Pence, a conservative Christian, has opposed same-sex marriage throughout his political career. He received harsh criticism from social activists for pursuing anti-LGBTQ policies during his time as governor of Indiana.)

During his remarks Sunday, Buttigieg detailed how so much has changed for the gay community in his young lifetime. He acknowledged the historic implications of his candidacy and what it could mean for the LGBTQ community at large, including the possibility of the very first same-sex couple in the White House.

“You could either be openly gay or run for office, but not both,” Buttigieg recalled of his early days in politics. But he said he was uncomfortable with the idea of coming to terms with his sexuality as a young man, saying he “would have done anything to not be gay, when I started to half way realize what it meant that I felt the way I did,” comparing it to a war inside himself.

“If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would have swallowed it before I could get a sip of water,” he said.

In previewing his plans for a potential presidency, the mayor said he would push for a Federal Equality Act immediately upon entering office…. He said he would also push to overturn President Trump’s ban on transgender service members in the military.

“The struggle is not over when transgender troops have their careers threatened with ruin one tweet at a time by a commander-in-chief who he himself pretended to be disabled in order to get out of serving when it was his turn,” he said, referring to Mr. Trump’s deferments over bone spurs during the Vietnam War.

While still technically in the exploratory phase of his 2020 career, the mayor is slated to formally announce his 2020 run at an event in South Bend this weekend.

Beto O’Rourke  in IOWA CITY —

April 7, 2019


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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during a campaign rally Sunday at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
By Holly Bailey  April 7th  2019

IOWA CITY, April 7 2019 — Former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke offered sweeping criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, outright calling him “racist” and an obstacle to peace.

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke on Sunday described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “racist” whose outreach to far-right interests as he seeks to hang onto political power has seriously damaged the chances of peace in the Middle East.

Speaking at a town hall here at the University of Iowa, the former Texas congressman denounced Netanyahu’s pledge Saturday that he would annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins another term in Tuesday’s Israeli general election. Netanyahu’s proposed annexation, O’Rourke said, “will make peace in the long term impossible.”

In response to a voter’s question about his policy toward Israel and Palestinian rights, O’Rourke reiterated his support for a two-state solution and accused Netanyahu of having “joined forces with far-right parties who are inherently racist in their speech and the way that they want to treat their fellow human beings in that part of the world.”
He then went further, telling reporters in a gaggle afterward that Netanyahu is a “racist.”

“The U.S.-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet, and that relationship, if it is to be successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist as he warns about Arabs coming to the polls, who wants to defy any prospect for peace as he threatens to annex the West Bank and who has sided with a far-right racist party in order to maintain his hold on power,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke continued, saying he did not believe Netanyahu “represents the true will of the Israeli people” or the “best interests” of the relationship between the US and Israel. He went on to endorse a two-state solution to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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