Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg told a crowd of several hundred at Western Nevada College on Monday that he can beat Donald Trump with Democrats joined by independents and, “what I call future, former Republicans.”
He urged the cheering crowd to “imagine how it’s going to be, how you’re going to feel the first time the sun comes up over Carson City and Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States.”
“Are you ready to put the chaos behind us? Are you ready to put the corruption behind us? Wouldn’t it be nice to put the tweets behind us?
In a wide-ranging speech, he touched on nearly every Democratic talking point this campaign season.
Buttigieg said he believes a majority of Americans are committed to “making sure there is no such thing as an uninsured American,” to making sure one job is enough to support themselves, to reforming immigration and making this a country where race has no bearing on any one and that the Second Amendment is no excuse for doing nothing about gun violence.
“The American people are ready for this to happen,” he said. “We’ve just got to get Washington to do what people want them to do.”
As a candidate, he said Trump promised a lot but that, “he’s only kept one promise and that is to cut taxes on the wealthy.”
He said if everyone works together to support his campaign, “we can build a big enough majority to reunite GOP senators with their conscience.”
Buttigieg also called for investment in the nation’s infrastructure.
“We cannot tolerate crumbling and deteriorating roads and bridges,” he said promising to pump a trillion dollars into infrastructure projects over the next decade.
Speaking in Spanish, Buttigieg told those “Dreamers” in the audience, “this country is your country too.” He said the first change must be to create a path to citizenship for “Dreamers” and others living in the country illegally. Major changes, he said, are needed because the current laws don’t allow enough people into the country to meet the nation’s needs.
He said people need to recognize that immigration “is the lifeblood of this country.”
He said America should manage the border, “in a way that matches our values and there should be no such thing as a for-profit facility for the detention of children.”
He called for changes to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and said that, whether a worker is full- or part-time or on contract, that worker should be protected with wages and benefits.
On his proposed assault weapon ban, Buttigieg said no civilian needs a weapon like the M-4 he carried when he served in the Middle East.
“We can take common sense steps beginning with a ban on new sales of assault weapons,” he said. “At least we ought to be doing background checks and red flags.”
He said the nation has got to draw the line somewhere and already has: “Everybody can have a water balloon. Nobody can have a nuclear weapon.”
In response to criticisms that a small town mayor doesn’t have the exposure with the federal government and the culture in Washington that some of his opponents do, he said that is exactly the point. He said he is the candidate who can bring badly needed change to Washington, D.C.