Pete Buttigieg on Bernie Sanders’ campaign suspension

The former presidential candidate explains why he hopes Sen. Bernie Sanders will endorse former Vice President Joe Biden, and shares what three things the nation is in danger of losing.
8:07 | 04/09/20

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Transcript for Pete Buttigieg on Bernie Sanders’ campaign suspension
Former presidential candidate and mayor Pete buttigieg joins us live from South Bend, Indiana to tell us about his mission to support folks and us and everybody. Hey, mayor Pete. How are you doing? This has been crazy. How are you holding up at home? I'm just -- Are you watching television? Yeah, you know, it's a strange thing to begin with to come off a presidential campaign. We would sometimes have four four-state days. We would get excited if we got to be in the same hotel room for two nights in a row. That didn't happen often, and to go from that to being home all the time, spending tile together, cooking, being in one place, it's a rated kal change just like everyone is going through radical change right now, but for everything everyone is going through, for us, it's maybe a little bit of a good thing to be home as well. It's joy, mayor buttigieg. I would assume that Bernie is going through a radical change right now too, and I understand that you have been in touch with him lately? Tell us about that. Yeah. I called him up after he stepped out of the race, and he was gracious as he always has been whenever I have spoken with him in person, and had kind words about our campaign, and I said the same thing to him. Nobody can deny what a force he and his supporters are, and how important of a voice they have been, and I saw that last night he committed that he was going to do everything in his power to make sure that we defeat Donald Trump this fall. I expect that he's going to keep his word, and I think so much now depends on us coming together, and realizing just how stark the difference is going to be in November between president trump and the alternative. Look. We have healthy and vigorous debates within the democratic party about how to deliver universal health care, how to empower workers, how to boost wages, how to tackle climate change, but the question in November is going to be over whether to do any of those things because this president and his allies won't. They want to move in the opposite direction, and as if the stakes weren't already enormously high, they just got a lot higher in the context of this pandemic because we're seeing the cost of not having the kind of leadership that America deserves in the white house today. Just to go back to Bernie for a second, you know, he has pledged to work with Biden. We already said that. He will do everything to defeat Donald Trump, but he hasn't whole-heartedly endorsed Joe Biden. Is he holding out for some reason, and do you have an opinion on that at all? Well, I understand that he wants to have influence within the conversation as it moves forward in the party. I do think it's going to be important to have absolutely no daylight between all of us who care about defeating this president. So I hope that he will take that step, and I'm sure they're having conversations right now about how to become comfortable with that. Look. What's important here is not just what Bernie does, but his supporters. Millions of people who are enthusiastic about major changes that need to happen in this country, and the message he can bring to them. Not to pretend we agree on everything, but to understand the urgency of the task at hand that is literally life or death for so many Americans. I think that's what we've got to move toward, and I hope that's the direction things will take. Hello, mayor Pete. It's Meghan. You're being very gracious about senator Sanders, and I understand that, but his supporters are notoriously difficult and notoriously fickle. We were talking about how 12% of his supporters last time ended up voting for president trump. President trump yesterday was tweeting that the DNC has fixed this and rigged it so Bernie would lose, and he invited Bernie supporters to support him instead. His supporters are, and I think we talked about this at length when you were on the show. There were no Pete bros attacking me any time I was critical of you, but any time we go on TV and talk about Bernie Sanders, we are viciously and misogynistically attacked as a result. There's a question of history repeating itself with the Bernie supporters. You seem to have faith because you spoke with senator Sanders, that his supporters will come on board to Joe Biden, but how do you think you can stop history from repeating itself in this First of all, I think we have to define real progressivism not by how negative you can be on Twitter or how angry you are, but by what it is we're actually for, and what all of us are for. I think certainly the democratic party, and actually I don't think you have to be a Democrat to be for these are things like empowering workers, raising wages, holding companies accountable, making sure everybody can get health care, and for god's sake, doing something about climate change before it really is too late. So I think the fundamental question that supporters need to ask themselves is, what's really at stake here? What is the most important thing that I didn't get my -- look. I know exactly how it feels, not tting your candidate through a primary process. You have to know what's in the end of this. Shame on us if we let 2016 repeat itself. A lot of people took their ball and went home, not believing a trump presidency could actually not only did it happen, it's worse than we thought, and we're seeing now in the midst of a national crisis, just how costly that is. Look. Donald Trump is not going to change, and crises will continue to come. He does not get up in the morning, thinking about how he can make life better for other people or how America can become a more decent place. He just doesn't, and he won't, and that's not going to change. So let's remember what's at stake here. I agree with you. It's not going to happen on its own. It's going to take work. It's going to take leadership. I'm looking to Bernie Sanders to show some of that leadership, and it's going to take a laser focus on what's actually at stake which again, this is a life or death question for so many Americans, and if you believe that we should go further, fine. Great. Let's have that debate, but we don't even get to have that debate if we don't win in November. Mayor Pete, this is sunny. You know, last month you announced your support for Joe Biden. What do you think this race looks like come November? Because I'm concerned about who weren't -- whether or not people are going to be able to stand in line to vote, whether or not there's going to be a convention, whether or not there will be debates. What does it look like? Three of the most important things in this country are in danger right now. Our health, of course, our economy as we know, but a third thing is in danger, and that's our democracy. Without our democracy, we've got without our democracy, we're not America. We saw what happened in Wisconsin which was an outrage, the amount of time people had to stand in line, the confusion, and a highly partisan decision I believe by the Wisconsin supreme court. We cannot allow that. There are so many problems with access to the ballot, and exclusion voting. All those problems are going through the roof in the context of the coronavirus. There could be a positive element here, and that is if we do things we should have done a long time like making sure there's universal access to things like vote by mail and other steps to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to vote, but it's not going to happen on its own, and so we need to be as vigilant about our democracy as we are about the other things that we've got to protect like our health and our economy. By the way, there are proposals to do just that. Another one of my former competitors, Elizabeth Warren has put a series of ideas on how to act on this. It's going to take leadership in congress, federal leadership as well as those critically important state and county races that don't get much attention. In America, elections are run mostly by county and state officials. We have to be paying very close attention to the decisions made by states as well as what's coming out of Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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