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Buttigieg Works to Increase Name Recognition in Iowa

Clay Masters
Iowa Public Radio
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks with voters in a Johnston living room on February 9, 2019.

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana is a relatively unknown Democratic presidential hopeful and worked to remedy his lack of name recognition this weekend with a trip to Iowa. Pete Buttigieg made several stops in Ames and Des Moines. At a house in Johnston, he said the president’s administration pits business against things like healthcare and childcare.

“You’re less free to start a business if you’re afraid of losing your healthcare or if you don’t have a solution for childcare or if you don’t have a benefit structure that matches the 21st century,” Buttigieg said to the crowd. “That’s about your freedom, right?"

The 37-year-old veteran is the youngest candidate considering a run for the Democratic presidential nomination. He also told the crowd it’s time for a newer generation of leaders.

“Part of how this president got where he [is] was based on the idea that resentment and nostalgia were the only formula for the industrial Midwest,” Buttigieg said. “Whereas we actually see communities in the heartland that are changing our future and working toward [a] better future by recognizing, admitting it won’t be like the past [and] acknowledging that’s okay.”

Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren were also in the state this weekend. Their trips to Iowa were their first here since officially announcing they’re running for president. The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for February 3, 2020.

Clay Masters is the senior politics reporter for MPR News.