- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is going on the radio airwaves in Iowa with new spots that blame President Trump’s “reckless” trade war for hurting rural America and play up Mr. Buttigieg’s military experience and ties to his hometown.

In one ad, released Wednesday, the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful says Mr. Trump’s economic priority is how well the stock market is doing, but that net farm income has dropped, “small-town residents” can live hours away from a decent hospital, and desperation can lead to depression and addiction.

“When the president gets on Twitter to brag about the high-stakes game he’s playing with China, he’s not seeing the same rural America that I see,” Mr. Buttigieg says. “This reckless trade war is tearing apart the very fabric of rural America.”

Mr. Buttigieg says he’s asking for help “in stopping what Donald Trump is doing to America’s heartland — for your community, and mine.”

In the second ad, Mr. Buttigieg touts a new plan he says will expand opportunities for veterans.

“As a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, I saw firsthand the sacrifice made by those in uniform — and I noticed how many of them came from places that look a lot more like South Bend than the big coastal cities,” he said.

Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign said that ads will air on “rural radio networks” across Iowa as part of their first radio ad buy of the cycle.

The mayor paced the 2020 Democratic field by bringing in close to $25 million in the most recent fundraising quarter, but is still looking for a firmer position among the top tier of contenders in public polling on the race.

He was running in fifth place in Iowa with 8% support, according to a Monmouth University poll released earlier this month.

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