Buttigieg speaks on problems in South Bend, policy plans during debate

MIAMI—During night two of the first Democratic presidential debate on Thursday, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg answered questions about problems at home and took multiple policy stances.

Buttigieg ranked in speaking time just behind some of the big contenders of the night.

Voters in Miami are saying that they are now interested in Buttigieg as a presidential candidate, even calling the mayor a standout in the debate.

Along with topics like health care, immigration and student debt, the mayor addressed a question about recent tension in South Bend asked by moderator Rachel Maddow.  

Rachel Maddow: The police force in South Bend is now 6% black in a city that’s 20% black. Why has that not improved over your two terms as mayor?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg: Because I couldn’t get it done. My community is in anguish right now because of an officer-involved shooting. A black man, Eric Logan, killed by a white officer. And I’m not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back and the officer said he was attacked with a knife but he didn’t have his body camera on.

Following the question from Maddow, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California addressed Buttigieg and said that he should fire the police chief.

In response, Buttigieg tried to explain that Indiana law prohibits him from firing the chief before he was cut off.

In a stand-out moment on stage, when asked if they support a government-run health care system for all undocumented immigrants, all ten candidates raised their hands in agreement.

Buttigieg responded to a question about his stance on health care.

“Everybody who says Medicare for all, every person in politics who allows that phrase to escape their lips, has a responsibility to explain how we’re going to get from here to there. Now here’s how I would do it. I would call it Medicare for all who want it. You take something like Medicare, a flavor that, you put it on the exchanges, people can buy in, and then, if people like us are right, then that will be not only a more exclusive plan but a more efficient plan than any of the corporate answers out there,” Buttigieg said.

Despite the issues at home brought into the spotlight, Buttigieg was still polling as one of the top candidates on Friday morning post-debate.

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