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Pete Buttigieg takes down Trump-supporting heckler in Florida by getting him to denounce white supremacy

James Crump
·3 min read
former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg attends a campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina on 28 February 2020 ((Reuters))
former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg attends a campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina on 28 February 2020 ((Reuters))

Pete Buttigieg took down a Trump supporting heckler during a speech in Florida by getting him to denounce white supremacy.

With less than a week to go until 3 November’s election, Mr Buttigieg attended a rally in St Pete, Florida, on Wednesday evening, to campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.

As Mr Buttigieg, 38, spoke on the socially distanced platform, a man wearing a Make America Great Again hat and cargo shorts attempted to disrupt his speech while live-streaming the event, according to Pink News.

While staffers at the rally guarded the man to make sure he did not go on stage, Mr Buttigieg said in reference to Mr Biden: “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who cares just as much about protecting the lives of those that protest us as those who stand at our side?

“Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who does not believe in violence against those who disagree with him?”

As the man continued to disrupt the speech, the 38-year-old added: “Are you not proud to be an American in a country that makes room for all of us, but whose values include rejecting hate and rejecting those who would deny science when it could save lives?

“Rejecting racism and embracing one another for a better future for this country?”

Mr Buttigieg then referenced President Donald Trump and the heckler, asking the crowd: “And don’t you feel a little sorry for a president who finds it necessary to draw this kind of support?

“But it’s OK sir, because when Joe Biden is president you will be safer too.”

The man attempted to interrupt the speech again, but 38-year-old directly addressed him, saying: “But dude, can I finish my remarks? Are you afraid to hear what I have to say? Yes, are you afraid of what I have to say? Yes, are you afraid of what I have to say?”

He then asked the man: “Do you denounce white supremacy?” and after the heckler nodded his head in agreement, Mr Buttigieg enthusiastically added: “Good, then we agree on something. That's a beginning point.

“See if you can get your president to do the same thing!”

President Trump declined to denounce the far-right white supremacist group the Proud Boys at the first presidential debate, but the next day clarified: “I condemn all white supremacists, I condemn the Proud Boys. I don’t know much about the Proud Boys but I condemn that.”

Mr Buttigieg has become an important part of the Democratic campaign and has been a regular fixture on Fox News in an attempt to get viewers to vote for Mr Biden.

Mr Trump and Mr Biden will both hold rallies in the swing state of Florida on Thursday, which the president likely needs to win to have a chance of being reelected on 3 November.

President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Florida in 2016 by less than two percentage points, but current polling is giving Mr Biden a lead in the state with just five days until the national election.

CNN's Poll of Polls, which tracks the average of poll results across all surveys, currently shows the Democratic nominee with a lead over President Trump in Florida of 49 to 45 per cent.

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