BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg shared his foreign policy views Tuesday afternoon at IU Bloomington.
It was his first speech on the topic. Hundreds of people came to campus to hear his views on threats abroad and at home.
The South Bend mayor made his mark with a different approach by focusing on foreign policy during a primary race dominated by proposals on domestic policy.
“The need for a new foreign policy vision could not be more urgent today,” he said.
As he pitched his foreign policy to voters, the mayor said the Democratic party lacks a consistent foreign policy, and that the current administrations’ policy shows a “troubling” pattern.
“This administration has embraced and emboldened autocrats while alienating democracies and allies around the globe,” he said.
During his speech, Buttigieg said he wants to repeal the 2001 authorization for use of force in Iraq and Afghanistan, calling it a “blank check” that has led to an “endless war.” It’s a law that gives a president power to use force against “nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”
He said “the time for a Congress asleep at the switch must come to an end,” and the U.S. shouldn’t send troops into conflict without a clear definition of their mission.
Buttigieg also vowed to recommit the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal and treat climate change as a national security issue.
After the speech, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) reacted to Buttigieg’s plan in an interview that aired on this week's edition of IN Focus.
“I know Mayor Pete, and I appreciate his service in uniform. I think he is absolutely dead wrong when it comes to the Iran nuclear deal, a very dangerous deal that rewarded Iran and gave them hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in their own nuclear program which was what the deal was initially negotiated to try to prevent,” Congressman Banks said.
Buttigieg took several swipes at President Trump. Specifically, he spoke about the president’s focus on a border wall and approach with tarriffs. Some Indiana farmers said the trade war with China is hurting their bottom line.
“We are seeing the consequences of a trade policy, if you can even call it a policy, that does not have any strategy behind it,” he said during interviews after the speech.
A new Iowa poll by CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom shows Joe Biden at 24%, Bernie Sanders at 16%, Elizabeth Warren at 15%, Pete Buttigieg at 14% and Kamala Harris at 7%, among likely caucus goers.
Democratic candidates will take part in their first Presidential debate ten days from now in Miami, with the first contests in early states now a little more than six months away.