Buttigieg on East Palestine: ‘I Was Mayor’ for 8 Years, ‘We Dealt With a Lot of Disasters’

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg claimed that he dealt with “a lot of disasters” when he was mayor of South Bend, Indiana, giving him the experience to deal with the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

Speaking to George Stephanopoulos on ABC News, Buttigieg was quizzed by the host on the response to the train disaster in East Palestine, and the resulting chemical spill.

“The administration’s come under some fire for its response. The mayor of East Palestine has said it took nearly two weeks for the White House to contact him. There were shouts of, ‘where’s Pete Buttigieg,’ at a town hall meeting last week,” Stephanopoulos noted, asking Buttigieg when he was planning to actually go to East Palestine.

“Well I am planning to go, and our folks were on the ground from the first hours. I do want to stress that the NTSB needs to be able to do its work independently, but when I go, the focus is going to be on action,” Buttigieg responded. “Look, I was mayor of my hometown for eight years. We dealt with a lot of disasters, natural and human.”

While he was mayor, contemporary news reports reveal that he dealt with a couple instances of flooding.

“One of the things I noticed very quickly is that there’s two kinds of people who show up when you have that kind of disaster experience,” he added. “People who were because they have a specific job to do, and are there to get something done, and people who are there to look good and have their picture taken,” in an apparent attack on President Trump and other Republicans.

A number of people on social media were quick to question what disasters Buttigieg had supposedly dealt with during his time as the mayor, with many joking that “fixing potholes” wasn’t nearly equivalent to the massive environmental impact of the train derailment.

“Buttigieg couldn’t even fix potholes as mayor,” tweeted GOP Chairman Ronna McDaniel. “He was a failed mayor and is a disaster as Transportation Secretary,” calling on him to resign his post, concurring with Sen. Josh Hawley.

This news and commentary by Jack Hadfield originally appeared on Valiant News.


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