Running against President Donald Trump in 2020 means having a message that doesn't revolve around him, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday.
"The way we have to approach it is on one hand, when he says something that isn't true, we have to say so," the South Bend, Indiana mayor, whose presidential campaign has been blowing up in recent weeks, told CNN's "New Day."
"Then we have to move on very quickly," he added. "A really robust message for my party can't be one that revolves around the personality of somebody from the other party. We have to have a message that will make as much sense in 2040 as it does in 2020."
He said he thinks the focus placed against Trump in 2016 was the result of a media environment, combine with party strategy, and that didn't work to defeat him.
"I think a lot of Democrats were so horrified by who the Republicans were nominating, we almost forgot that don't vote for the other guy is not the same as having your own message," Buttigieg said.
While there is a great deal of division in the United States, Americans do agree on the outlines of a bipartisan immigration reform plan, said Buttigieg, adding that he thinks the reform measure pushed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "is the right template," but it needs to have more protection for "dreamers."
He also commented on his ongoing arguments with Vice President Mike Pence, saying he does believe the vice president has the right to his religious beliefs. However, Buttigieg said it's an issue when Pence uses his faith to hurt other people.
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