Mayor Pete Buttigieg takes center stage at town hall and locals from South Bend respond
SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- South Bend’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg took center stage during a town hall “South by Southwest” last night in Texas, as he gears up for a 2020 presidential run.
ABC57 went out into the street of South Bend to see what locals thought of his appearance at the town hall.
Ben Phillips, who works at Notre Dame, said he thinks the mayor brought thoughtful and unique ideas to the event.
“I think he came across really well,” said Phillips. I think he came across as an ordinary person and that’s really different. He made a really strong case that mayor’s see things differently from Washington politicians.”
During the town hall, Buttigieg referenced Vice President Mike Pence and former Indiana Govoner, where he said he was tolerating a quote, “porn star presidency.” This statement raised some eyebrows for some South Bend locals.
“People are saying well look at Trump and the things that he says and all that, but that doesn’t give anyone else that right to stoop to that level,” said Jeffrey Sellers. He wasn’t saying it hateful. I think he was using it as just an example.”
A local who’s lived in South Bend for nearly 59 years says the “porn star” comment didn’t sit right with him, but he still thinks the mayor has a good chance in his run.
“If he gets nominated I will certainly vote for him. I will,” said Gerry Metz.
Buttigieg responded to people who claim he doesn’t have enough experience, by saying he has more experience than President Donald Trump.
Some people in South Bend said age is just a number and being one of the youngest potential candidates could give him an edge.
“I guess there’s no reason for him not to try,” said Kenneth Taylor. He’s an interesting candidate; it’ll definitely be interesting to see how far he gets.”
The town hall meeting took place ahead of Buttigieg’s last mayoral State of the City address this Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Many of the people ABC57 spoke with said this will be a big moment for the city of South Bend.
The event is being held at the Morris Performing Arts Center down town South Bend, where the mayor will talk about the communities past challenges and future plans.
Free parking is available after 5 p.m. at all parking garages. ABC57 News will be there to capture the address.