- Meanwhile Afghanistan veteran Buttigieg attacks Trump for calling fallen US troops ‘suckers’ and ‘losers’.
Joe Biden has appointed Pete Buttigieg to a key role in his White House transition team that will make his presidency a reality, if he wins on 3 November.
Meanwhile Buttigieg, a military veteran, has denounced President Donald Trump for calling fallen US troops ‘suckers’ and ‘losers’.
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, bowed out of the presidential race in March to endorse Biden.
At the time Biden praised Buttigieg’s historic presidential run – the first serious bid to win the White House by an openly gay candidate. And Biden predicted we would see more of him in future.
Now Buttigieg will join the 15-person advisory board for the transition, if Biden wins the presidency. The role may line him up for even more responsibility in a future government.
The White House transition team plays a key role in setting up the new administration.
The transition process runs from election day to the date of the new president’s inauguration – which will be on 20 January 2021. Typically tasks include identifying, vetting and appointing key administration officials and building on the president-elect’s policy agendas.
But David Marchick, who has worked with presidential transition teams for both Republicans and Democrats, told CNN this transition will be unique:
‘There’s no precedent for the challenges. It’s 1918, 1932 and 1968 combined. That’s why having a serious effort to prepare in case they win is exactly the right approach.’
Moreover, he pointed out ‘this will be the first virtual transition in the history of the United States’.
Indeed Biden transition team leader Ted Kaufman said:
‘We are preparing for this transition amid the backdrop of a global health crisis and struggling economy. This is a transition like no other, and the team being assembled will help Joe Biden meet the urgent challenges facing our country on day one.’
Veteran Buttigieg takes on Trump
Meanwhile, there’s still an election to win. And while Biden is ahead in the polls, his lead has narrowed in recent weeks. A victory by Barack Obama’s former vice president looks possible but is far from guaranteed.
And Buttigieg continues to stump for his former rival.
In particular, as a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, he’s taken Trump to task for his view of the military.
The Atlantic published Trump’s comments, based on multiple but largely anonymous sources, last Thursday.
It claims he called fallen soldiers ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’ when he refused to visit a cemetery for American dead from World War I. The Atlantic even said Trump didn’t know which side the US was on in that war.
Moreover, it listed other times he denigrated military veterans. In particular comments he allegedly made about the late US Senator John McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
McCain was also a prominent Republican and many of Trump’s supporters are ardent supporters of the military. Therefore the comments have the potential to erode his base.
‘He must think we’re all suckers’
Speaking on MSNBC, Buttigieg said:
‘There is something shocking about him just coming out and saying that those who serve are suckers and losers.’
And he went on Fox to say:
‘I mean, look, the president today lied on Twitter about never calling John McCain a loser. Now he’s asking us to believe that, OK, he’s lying about that today, because we can check and see the footage, but he’s not lying about the other stuff?
‘He must think we’re all suckers, and the amazing thing to me is how little respect he has for the intelligence of his own supporters.’
Last month, at the virtual Democratic National Convention, Buttigieg suggested the next decade could see a leap forward in LGBT+ rights if America elects Joe Biden.
He contrasted Biden and his vice-presidential choice Kamala Harris’ policies and the Democratic platform with that of Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence.