Buttigieg in Iowa
In an ongoing series the NPR Politics Podcast is hitting the road and interviewing 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. This episode Tamara Keith and Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters sit down with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to ask about why he’s the best pick for president.
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MASTERS: How do you implement a Green New Deal policy that farmers don’t see as more regulation while they’re dealing with low commodity prices, with a trade war and tariffs and intense flooding that we’ve been seeing this year?
BUTTIGIEG: First of all, it’s got to be part of a bigger picture where rural America feels supported. Sometimes I feel like when Democrats are asked about rural America, we just – we panic and say broadband. And don’t get me wrong, I’m for rural broadband. But you can see how if that’s all we have to say, it leaves a lot of rural Americans cold. And the reality is we need to have credible policies, for example, on consolidation so it isn’t so difficult that you have so few buyers for your product. But also connect the dots, that the extreme weather that is making it more and more difficult to be a grower in this country is probably not unrelated to these climate concerns that we’ve been talking about all along.
We’ve also got to invite them to feel like they’re part of the solution. If climate policy feels like this cudgel that you’re beating growers over the head with or farmers and saying, you’re part of the problem, then of course they’re not going to feel very motivated to come on board with our efforts. But if we’re saying, for example, that the effort to create a net-zero emissions farm through things like soil management – and maybe other technologies we haven’t even developed – is just as important as the effort to get more people using electric vehicles, then we can build up rural America as a big part of how we do this and create a lot of pride in that, too. And that’s the kind of frame I think we need to have.