- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday warned Democrats that they could lose support by engaging in “purity tests” on major issues.

“I think we could really not just lose people but lose sight of our own goals if we get sucked into these purity tests,” Mr. Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

He said, for example, that there is a “strong majority” around guns on issues like universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and “red flag” laws that allow law enforcement to temporarily seize guns from dangerous people.

“Same thing on immigration, same thing on college cost[s] — on issue after issue, there is an opportunity to do big things,” Mr. Buttigieg said.

He warned against trying to “one-up each other on a debate stage” to the point where Democrats start losing people.

“This isn’t just a question of winning — this is a question of governing,” Mr. Buttigieg said. “Sometimes I think Democrats have this tendency to be in this defensive crouch and just assume people aren’t with us on the issues we hold dear. People are with us, at least if we keep our focus on the main things we can achieve.”

Mr. Buttigieg had delivered a similar warning against “purity tests” to former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas at Tuesday evening’s debate, saying that it didn’t sound like Mr. O’Rourke’s proposal for a mandatory ban and buyback of military-style, semiautomatic weapons was fully fleshed out.

Mr. O’Rourke said people shouldn’t be limited by “the polls and the consultants and the focus groups.”

Mr. Buttigieg shot back that he didn’t need lessons from Mr. O’Rourke on courage, “personal or political.”

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