Pete Buttigieg criticizes Joe Biden on his son's role in Ukraine and his Iraq War vote
During an interview with the Associated Press (AP) on Monday, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg — who is among the candidates competing with former Vice President Joe Biden for 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — asserted that if he had a son, he “would not have wanted to see” him serving on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company at a time when he was leading anti-corruption efforts in the country.
However, he also noted that there is no evidence of “wrongdoing” on Joe Biden’s part.
The Ukrainian energy company Buttigieg was referring to was Burisma, where Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a board member. President Donald Trump, on December 18, was indicted on two articles of impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives — and one of the reasons was his July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who Trump tried to pressure into investigating the Bidens.
Speaking to AP, Buttigieg was asked how he would have handled the type of situation the Bidens faced in Ukraine — and he responded, “So, I would not have wanted to see that happen. And at the same time, again, I think this is being used to divert attention from what’s really at stake in the impeachment process. There’s been no allegation, let alone finding of any kind of wrongdoing (on Joe Biden’s part).”
Buttigieg told AP that if he were president, his administration would “do everything we can to prevent even the appearance of a conflict. That’s very important because as we see, it can create a lot of complications even when there is no wrongdoing.”
Nonetheless, Buttigieg was much more critical of Trump during the interview than he was Joe Biden, asserting that the recent impeachment inquiry in the House showed “spectacular misconduct” on Trump’s part.
Buttigieg also discussed his military background during the interview: the South Bend mayor served as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan in 2014. Discussing U.S. foreign policy, Buttigieg criticized Joe Biden for voting in favor of military force in Iraq in 2002 — when he was representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate. Buttigieg described the U.S. invasion of Iraq as “the worst foreign policy decision made by the United States in my lifetime.”