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Pete Buttigieg officially announces 2020 bid in stirring speech, brings in $1 million in fundraising in the hours following announcement


He says he's here to 'tell a different story than Make America Great Again'

Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg formally announced his presidential bid Sunday night in South Bend, Indiana.

What are the details?

In a highly attended and stirring speech, Buttigieg — who initially appeared alongside his husband, Chasten — told the crowd that the "horror show" in Washington, D.C., has to end.

"My name is Pete Buttigieg," he told the gathered crowd. "They call me 'Mayor Pete.' I am a proud son of South Bend, Indiana, and I am running for president of the United States."

"The horror show in Washington," the 37-year-old added, "is mesmerizing, all-consuming. But starting today, we are going to change the channel."

Buttigieg touted his experience as South Bend's mayor as well as his time as a combat soldier in Afghanistan during the announcement and delivered the remarks at Studebaker Building 84.

"I ran for mayor in 2011 knowing that nothing like Studebaker would ever come back," he admitted. "But believing that we would, our city would, if we had the courage to reimagine our future. And now, I can confidently say that South Bend is back."

"That's why I'm here today," he added. "To tell a different story than 'make America great again,' because there is a myth being sold to industrial and rural communities: the myth that we can stop the clock and turn it back."

"It comes from people who think the only way to reach communities like ours is through resentment and nostalgia, selling an impossible promise of returning to a bygone era that was never as great as advertised to begin with," Buttigieg explained. "The problem is, they're telling us to look for greatness in all the wrong places."

The 37-year-old told the audience that he is aware of the "audacity" of running as a "Midwestern millennial mayor."

"More than a little bold ... to seek the highest office in the land," he added, arguing that America is ripe for a chance.

"If America today feels like a confusing place to be, it's because we're on one of those blank pages in between chapters," he explained. "Change is coming, ready or not. The question of our time is whether families and workers will be defeated by the changes beneath us, or whether we will master them and make them work toward a better everyday life for us all."

Buttigieg pointed to climate change, immigration, and freedom as some of his primary concerns as a presidential candidate. He also suggested that the Electoral College be abolished.

"We can't say it's much of a democracy when twice in my lifetime, the Electoral College has overruled the American people," he said, pointing to the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections.

"Let's make it easier to register and to vote," Buttigieg said. "Let's make our districts fairer, our courts less political, our structurer more inclusive, and yes — let's pick our president by counting up all the ballots and giving it to the woman or man who got the most votes."

What else do we know about him?

Buttigieg's husband of one year, Chasten, is a school teacher and has joined him on the campaign trail across the country.

Buttigieg is a Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of Harvard and Oxford universities, and speaks seven foreign languages including Arabic, Dari, French, Italian, Maltese, Norwegian, and Spanish. He was raised Catholic, but is now Episcopalian.

If elected, Buttigieg would be the first U.S. mayor to ascend straight to the presidency, and would be the youngest man to ever be president at the age of 39.

Buttigieg's campaign has brought in more than $7 million in January, February, and March — which is more than his fellow Democratic contenders Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) — and raised over $1 million in the hours following his Sunday announcement.

In April, Buttigieg polled third in Iowa and New Hampshire, behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced a bid for presidency.

You can read more about his background here.

Watch live: Pete Buttigieg officially announces 2020 presidential bid

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