South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg has quickly gone from relative obscurity to one of the leading Democratic candidates for president. The 37-year-old Buttigieg joined Boston Public Radio Tuesday at the Boston Public Library to discuss his candidacy and his journey to becoming a media darling.
"I would make a really good president," Buttigieg told BPR, semi-joking, before launching into a list of his campaign polices.
If elected, Buttigieg said he plans on raising taxes for the wealthy, instituting a universal health care system, and making community college free and public universities free for low-income students.
"Something completely different is coming and we don't know what it is going to be," Buttigieg said. "There is a lot of energy for generational change."
Some have wondered if Buttigieg, as just a mayor, is lacking experience necessary for strong foreign policy leadership. Buttigieg responded to his critics by offering a resume that he believes has prepared him for any international situation.
"I learned as much about foreign policy when I was deployed as an intelligence officer working in a joint civil military unity with an international coalition as I did studying international relations as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. I'm not alien to this issue," he said.
Buttigieg also called for a reform to the Supreme Court and an end to the "apocalyptic ideological fights" that he said happens when a new justice is picked. Buttigieg's reformation plan would be to have a 15-member court with five of those judges picked by consensus from the other 10. "The objective being to get some justices that think for themselves," he said.
Buttigieg said he understands why some people could see him as an improbable choice for president compared to the other established Washington candidates. For Buttigieg, though, the things that make him different add "up to the kind of radical idea that a 30-something Midwestern mayor may be the right answer to the presidency at this moment."