Speaking on Wednesday, President Trump acknowledged Pete Buttigieg, one of his many Democrat opponents in the upcoming 2020 election, for the first time, stating that he would enjoy facing off against the Indiana mayor.
Discussing his potential competitors, the president said he believed Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders would get the Democratic Party’s nomination, noting that “the mayor from Indiana” could also be a potential candidate.
“I think I’d like running against [Buttigieg,] too,” said Trump, who said “it’ll be interesting to see it unfold.”
From The Hill:
President Trump said Wednesday that he would welcome the opportunity to run against Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, his first public acknowledgment of the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s burgeoning candidacy.
In an interview with David Webb on SiriusXM, Trump speculated that he may end up campaigning for the presidency in 2020 against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Vice President Joe Biden or “the mayor from Indiana,” referencing Buttigieg without mentioning him by name.
“I think I’d like running against him, too,” Trump said of Buttigieg. “But it’ll be interesting to see it unfold.”
The interview marked Trump’s first direct comment on Buttigieg, who formally entered the Democratic field of prospective candidates on Sunday and has surged in recent polling.
The 37-year-old launched an exploratory committee earlier this year as a relative unknown in an increasingly crowded presidential primary field.
Since then, Buttigieg has attracted strong crowds at campaign events and raised an impressive $7 million for his campaign in the first quarter of 2019. That figure put him ahead of prominent candidates such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
Buttigieg has made a number of comments criticizing Trump, saying earlier Wednesday that the president uses “white guy identity politics” to divide working- and middle-class Americans.