Despite a recent poll that places him ahead of President Biden in New Hampshire, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said over the weekend that he backs the president in 2024:
Last month, the Granite State Poll in New Hampshire found that Pete Buttigieg is leading among potential Democratic candidates with 23 percent support, ahead of President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), with 18 percent each.
The poll was released at a time when no candidates, Biden included, had formally entered the race.
It’s unlikely that Buttigieg will be a candidate in 2024, at least as long as Biden is in the race, and in an interview over the weekend, the Secretary of the Treasury made it clear that he continues to back Biden for president.
“Generational arguments can be powerful [but] the most powerful argument of all is results,” Buttigieg said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, as reported by The Guardian.
“I would say you can’t argue with a straight face that it isn’t a good thing that we have had 12 million jobs created under this president. And, by the way, a lot of the jobs are in manufacturing… As somebody who grew up in the industrial midwest, it’s been so moving to see hundreds of thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs being created, including in rural areas, small towns in places like Tennessee and Louisiana, and Georgia and Indiana, the kind of growth that benefits the entire American people.”
Also, per CNN, Buttigieg has confirmed that he will not be running for the open U.S. Senate seat in Michigan in 2024. Buttigieg announced last year that he had switched his residence to Michigan, from Indiana, where he had served as mayor of South Bend. If Buttigieg were to run for any office in 2024 he would likely need to resign from his position as a sitting cabinet secretary.
“I’m planning to vote in that election as a resident of Michigan, but look, the job that I have is, first of all, I think, the best job in the federal government,” he said. “This job is taking 110% of my time, and obviously I serve at the pleasure of the president. But as long as he is willing to have me continue doing this work, I’m proud to be part of this team.”
In the CNN interview, Buttigieg was also asked about the Chinese spy balloon, which was shot down over the weekend.
“The president gave instructions to have it handled, to have it shot down in a way that was safe,” Buttigieg told Jack Tapper on “State of the Union.” “As you may have seen, there’s reporting now that the debris field that was created by this balloon when it was shot down was about seven miles long. So, any time the military is considering an operation like that, they have to consider the safety of the American people.”
Pete Buttigieg: Still In Hot Water
New York Magazine, also over the weekend, reported on trouble for Buttigieg at the Department of Transportation following a series of crises that included two different flight delay debacles.
“Buttigieg’s Transportation gig is looking less like a dream and more like a nightmare. It has turned out to be a complicated job made even harder by the glare of publicity Buttigieg has attracted,” columnist Ed Kilgore wrote of Buttigieg’s first two years as secretary.
“He faced criticism for excessive coziness with the auto industry. He was forced to pick sides in a lot of long-standing transportation policy disputes that could change how people live and work. And he has been front and center in several transportation-related crises, including the supply-chain crisis and repeated breakdowns in airline travel.”
The piece noted that the Transportation spot has traditionally gone to more obscure bureaucrat types with neither a history nor a particular ambition to pursue higher political office. Buttigieg, on the other hand, took the job with plenty of both fans and enemies.
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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.