South Bend mayor and Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg spoke at the City Club of Chicago on Thursday, hitting on themes of freedom and rights as he looks to inspire a new generation of voters.
Buttigieg, who at the age of 37 is the youngest candidate in a crowded Democratic field, is capturing plenty of attention in his run for the White House.
“My generation is currently on track to be the first in American history to earn less than our parents,” he said.
The South Bend mayor is looking to become the first openly gay candidate to be a major party’s nominee for the Oval Office, and in the aftermath of Alabama and Georgia passing new abortion laws, he spoke of freedom for American citizens.
“I don’t think you are free in this country if your reproductive health can be criminalized,” he said. “I don’t think you are free if a county clerk tells you who you ought to marry because of their own religion.”
Since his presidential campaign announcement, Buttigieg has opened a Chicago campaign office, and has also hired the advertising firm that helped former President Barack Obama in his 2008 race.
When asked if his campaign, which has generated a ton of national buzz in recent months, is peaking too soon, Buttigieg dismissed the concerns.
“This is a marathon. We have a long run ahead of us,” he said. “Frankly, we’re ahead of where I thought we would be, but we are right where I want to be.”
After his speech at the City Club, Buttigieg will headline a fundraiser in Lakeview, and the event is sold out, according to organizers.