Pete Buttigieg, making a final appeal to voters in the hours before the Iowa caucuses convene, said he feels his campaign has a great deal of strength on the ground and insisted that he holds appeal for President Donald Trump's voters, particularly when it comes to rural voters, ethnic issues, and the military.
"This is going to be a campaign that invites everybody in to be part of the solution," the former South Bend, Ind., mayor told Fox News" "America's Newsroom" co-host Ed Henry. "It's not saying we're going to agree on everything, but at a time when farmers are getting killed as a result of the trade war, consumers are feeling the impacts of that."
Henry interceded, pointing out that Trump signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and that will mean jobs, and Buttigieg agreed that the pact is "certainly helpful," particularly after the Democrats impeached on improvements.
"I think it's a good package," said Buttigieg. "But the trade war never should have happened in the first place. Anyway, my point is when you see tax policies favoring corporations over the middle class, when you see refinery waivers at the expense of farmers here in the Midwest, there is an opportunity to talk to voters who maybe haven't really connected with the Democratic message in a long time.
Henry also questioned Buttigieg on his criticisms of Trump on race, pointing out the complaints the former mayor had gotten from members of the African-American community in his own hometown while mayor.
He said he does think Trump's First Step Act is "one of the handfuls of things I could actually agree with him on, but that "doesn't change the incredibly cruel and divisive racial rhetoric that comes out of this White House."
Buttigieg also panned Trump on his military record, particularly after the president's comments concerning skull injuries incurred by members of the military when Iran launched its airstrikes against targets in Syria and Iraq.
"Part of the president's unpopularity has to do with his, let's say mixed relationship with the military and on security matters," said Buttigieg. "The fact that for anybody who is in the post 9/11 conflicts to hear the president of the United States say the traumatic brain injury is no big deal, when he took advantage of the fact that he was the son of a multi-millionaire to fake a disability to avoid serving when it was his turn. Somebody needs to challenge him on that and I'm prepared to go toe-to-toe with him.
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