Pete Buttigieg remains candid about WH intentions as talking points for post-Biden future

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Washington
CNN

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg isn’t ruling out a future presidential bid, saying he doesn’t know “what’s going to happen in the future” when asked about a possible White House job.

In a wide-ranging interview on CNN’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” that will air Sunday at 7 p.m., Buttigieg said he’s not “ruling out” another White House campaign, but said he feels fulfilled in his current role.

“I am 40 years old. I don’t know what will happen in the future. I know that. I have been given this amazing opportunity and responsibility to live, to help shape the infrastructure that we will work with and have for the rest of our lives,” he said.

Buttigieg is expected to run to succeed President Joe Biden — whether an open race emerges in 2024 or 2028 — and has become the Democratic candidate’s most sought-after surrogate in the midterms, people familiar with the filings told CNN.

The question of Biden’s political future will come before Democrats after the midterm elections in November, as the party struggles to retain control of Congress. Already, questions about whether the President will make another bid for the White House have thrown questions into the developing 2024 race.

At 79, Biden is already the oldest president in American history, and as CNN previously reported, his public schedule had previously raised questions about how widely he would campaign.

“The decision is way above my pay grade,” Buttigieg said of Biden’s other White House offer. “There is a person to make that decision. But what I will say is that this President, this administration, is underestimated time and time again and has given time and time again”.

Buttigieg ran a strong presidential campaign in 2019 and 2020, despite starting with very little national recognition or political experience. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, narrowly won the Iowa caucuses, becoming the first openly gay presidential candidate in American history to win major party delegates.

He ended his campaign shortly before Super Tuesday in March 2020, after clearly closing his path to victory after a poor showing in South Carolina.

Reflecting on his decision to launch that campaign, Buttigieg explained, “I wanted to be president enough to be president, even though I never ran because it was something I wanted to be. I ran because there was a moment when I thought that what I had to offer was in line with what the moment required.”

“And that’s how I think about running for office. I have used this process before to submit to the office. And I used that process to decide not to run for office before that decision process. And I know it’s politically correct to say, politically it’s also true, I don’t know what the future looks like, or if those stars will ever align in the future,” he continued.

“All I know is that I already have a job, and it’s a great job.”