Pete Buttigieg brings campaign to Iowa State with town hall


Alexander Gray/ Iowa State Daily

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks at a town hall hosted in the Scheman Building on Wednesday. Buttigieg discussed foreign policy, gun control, health care and finding commonality with members of the Republican Party.

Morgan Laviolette

Pete Buttigieg brought his campaign to Iowa State and discussed what he said is the current corruption in the United States’ government and how his presidency would unite the country.

Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds introduced and endorsed Buttigieg.

“[We] are going to help get him elected, ladies and gentleman, the next president of the United States — Mayor Pete,” Reynolds said.

Buttigieg opened his speech by saying how the United States is in need of a new generation of leadership. 

“We’re in some incredibly demanding times in the United States of America,” Buttigieg said. “These issues aren’t taking a break […] they’re only going to be worsened.”

The country is divided into two main political parties — Democrats and Republicans, and rather than letting the two parties work separately, the country can work toward a common ally to resolve issues, Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg spoke about his family and friends that had been directly affected by poor access to affordable health care and Medicare. Part of his campaign focuses on making the coverage in the Affordable Care Act available to all citizens. 

“You’re not free if you don’t have health care,” Buttigieg said. “That’s why we must insist on universal health care and ‘Medicare for All Who Want It.’”

Mary Ann Downs, a retired special education teacher from Nevada, Iowa, sat for a roundtable discussion on health care at an event just before the town hall at Iowa State.

Downs approved of Buttigieg’s proposed health care plan.

“Looking at your plan, I think that’s where we need to go,” Downs said.

Buttigieg also brought up the mental health crisis in the United States and the importance of recognizing it needs to be treated.

“We need a mental health vision that demands that mental health be treated as seriously and talked about as openly as anything on the medical side,” Buttigieg said.

During the question and answer session, people had the opportunity to challenge Buttigieg and find out what his thoughts were on topics including cabinet qualities and the presidency itself.

“The purpose of the presidency is not the glorification of the president, it is the empowerment of the American people,” Buttigieg said. “That is what we can do together.” 

The values in Buttigieg’s presidency would include truth, community, gender equity and unity, he said. With that, Buttigieg also said he believes in everyone having a voice and standing up for what they believe in.

“America is not America if we do not live up to our commitments, support our allies and ensure that the word of our country is our honor.” Buttigieg said. “That is the kind of president I want to be.”