Feb 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg sweeps Sunday shows just one day before Iowa caucuses

Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg on "Meet the Press" on April 7, 2019. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images.

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg took over cable news on Sunday, appearing on nearly every major network just one day before the Iowa caucuses.

The big picture: While his Senate competitors like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been tied up with the impeachment trial, Buttigieg has been free to campaign in full force ahead of the official start of primary season.

  • Cable news appearances and Buttigieg's willingness to accept media invitations — including in conservative-leaning environments like Fox News — were part of what skyrocketed him to popularity in spring 2019.
  • Buttigieg often polls around third or fourth nationally but has strong favorability in Iowa, where polls show a close race between him, Sanders, Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.

What he's saying: Buttigieg discussed what Iowa means to his candidacy, his experience as a mayor, his polling with voters of color and the state of President Trump's impeachment trial.

  • "Face the Nation" on CBS: "It is, of course, very important for us to do well in Iowa. You know, the process of actually proving that we can earn support, that we have the right kind of campaign organization, that we can turn folks out with enthusiasm, that starts right here tomorrow night. And we're very aware of that."
  • "This Week" on ABC News: "Remember, every single time in the last half-century — every single time that my party has won the White House — it’s been with a candidate who was new to national politics, opening the door to a new generation focused on the future."
  • "Meet the Press" on NBC: "If the Senate is the jury right now, we are the jury tomorrow. And however frustrating it is to watch that process, you can't switch it off, you can't walk away, and you can't give up."
  • "State of the Union" on CNN: "Right now we are reaching out to everybody. I will not take any vote for granted, and I will not leave any vote on the table. That means reaching out to folks, including a lot of black and brown voters who have felt taken for granted by the usual politics, in addition to reaching out to people who maybe haven't voted Democrat in a while or haven't voted Democrat at all."

Buttigieg also responded on MSNBC's AM Joy to a Des Moines Register poll that was canceled Saturday after his name was reportedly left off of one interviewer's survey.

  • "That must have been a tough decision to make, and at a moment when you've got a president demonizing the media. One of the things that I've noticed ... how seriously folks actually take the integrity of their reporting, their polling and their work. And I think that's reflected in them making this difficult decision," he said.

Go deeper: Pete Buttigieg's campaign doesn't think he needs to win Iowa

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