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San Diego Union-Tribune Endorses Pete Buttigieg

 February 24, 2020 at 10:21 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 The presidential primary race is white hot this week coming off the Nevada caucus last weekend. There's a debate tomorrow night. The South Carolina primary is this weekend. And of course, California is part of the super Tuesday vote next week. The results so far have Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the lead, but we're still early in the process. So into the mix. The San Diego union Tribune has stepped up to endorse a candidate and their pic is mayor Pete Buddha. Judge joining me is Matt hall editorial and opinion director at the UT to tell us what went into the editorial board's decision. And Matt, welcome to the program. Thanks for having me. Doreen. Give us the board's main reasons for endorsing mayor Pete. Speaker 2: 00:42 They were pretty straightforward. First of all, that we liked his centrist policies. We looked at all of the candidates in the race and wanted to pick a moderate above all else. Uh, what a Rose, uh, above for people to judge was his military experience, his executive experience, even if it was in a small city. And we liked the fact that he had really enthusiastically built, uh, some support in the early States, particularly in Iowa and New Hampshire. Speaker 1: 01:12 Any editorial, you seem to have been going back and forth between Pete, Buddha, judge and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Why did booty judge get the nod? Speaker 2: 01:21 Well, I think his military experience was one key factor. We also looked at their temperament, especially in, in, in the most recent debate particularly, but also over time there were some things, uh, in, in the Senator Klobuchar R's, uh, background that gave us pause. There was a report in the New York times that she, uh, was, uh, kind of a tough boss. A tough bosses are fine, but the reporting there showed a lot of turnover and we've seen a lot of turnover in the current administration. So that was something that gave us pause. We wanted people to kind of be committed to the cause and want to work for their candidate. Speaker 1: 01:54 What specific policies of people to judge does the UT like? In other words, how about the, his Medicare for everyone who wants it? Speaker 2: 02:03 Yeah, that's a key one. I mean, I think for us Medicare for all is a troublesome policy. We're worried about the cost of it. Medicare for all who want it seems, you know, first it allows people who want to keep their private insurance to keep that, which I think is key because second polls show you that a lot of people do want to keep their private insurance, but I think the risk is that if you can't do that, that there's just headaches and problems all around. And so Pete's kind of course of action seemed a more thoughtful, nuanced, moderate approach there. Speaker 1: 02:37 Now the UT editorial board is now made up of four white men. Did you take that into consideration when assessing the candidates? Speaker 2: 02:45 We did look at both race and the ability of a candidate to appeal to race and issues any candidates might have with communities of color. Our board is our board. It kind of is what it is. We there two women on my team who are involved in those discussions who aren't, you know, on the editorial board per se, but are a part of my team. And they sat in and a lot of our interviews, we interviewed a hundred candidates, uh, and they sat in on on many of those interviews and were a part of those discussions. So I think that our board had greater diversity in age and gender than it has in years past. And so, you know, we looked at some of the criticism on mayor Buddha judge our issues with communities of color in South bend, right? There's a famous case of a, his demotion of a police chief. Speaker 2: 03:33 There's been some reporting that shows that his top staff doesn't reflect the diversity of his city. And so, you know, we looked at those issues, but in his case there was a, also a police shooting during his campaign during the presidential campaign where a white officer killed a black man and Pete suspended his campaign. It went back to South bend and took that seriously and tried to engage, as we said, showed up and stepped up. So there's no question that these are very difficult decisions. There's a lot that goes into them. Race is certainly a part of this. To be a president of the United States of America, you need to appeal to people, uh, from coast to coast, from young youth, youth to old folks, and importantly to communities of color. I think you saw in, in Nevada, Speaker 1: 04:21 well, let, let me, let, let me just stop you though for a minute. Okay. Here you have the situation of a San Diego paper endorsing a candidate with extremely low Latino support. How do you defend that? Speaker 2: 04:34 I think the endorsement speaks for itself. People are telling me that it was well-reasoned, um, that it was thoughtful that it went into each candidates pluses and minuses in our view, you know, and up until recently, there was a Latina on our editorial board. She was a big part of our discussions going through this. She retired and is no longer on our board, but we're always mindful of that now it's on people to judge, to appeal to Latinos and to try to show that he can be a president, uh, in a presidential candidate for all communities. Uh, we looked at the pluses and the minuses of his campaign and of the other campaigns and decided that in our view that people, the judge was the candidate that, uh, we were going to recommend. Speaker 1: 05:18 Now the editorial starts with an analysis of what the editorial board thinks may happen to the country of president Trump is reelected. And let's just say that that is not a good scenario. So in light of that concern, did the editorial boards endorsement take into consideration who they thought would best be able to win against president Trump? Speaker 2: 05:38 That was part of it. I think in the discussions. I think electability is kind of a cheat. It's kind of a code word for, in some ways for racism in some ways for ageism in some ways for sexism. I mean, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote last year. She's a woman. Eventually. This country is going to have a woman president, eventually country is going to have a Latino president. Eventually this country is going to have a gay president as, as we wrote in that editorial, those things are only true that we have never had one of those kinds of presidents until they aren't. And so electability to me is a little bit of a, people throw that are around that word too much. Of course, any candidate needs to be able to compete against the current president, you know, and the dynamics of a primary election are far different than the dynamics of a general election. So we'll see who the democratic party chooses. Even though we have been critical of the current president, there's no disputing that he has the ability to bring tens of millions of peoples, uh, to the polls, uh, and has a very, uh, kind of, uh, hardcore base of support. Speaker 1: 06:42 What do you think Pete Buddha judge will have to do to win? Speaker 2: 06:45 Well, I think he's going to have to reach out to communities of color. He's going to have to show, especially in South Carolina, that he can, has a message that it's going gonna resonate with, uh, the African American community. But it was Huffington post, I think just today had a story that shows that there is no quote unquote black vote that like any community, that black voters come to the polls and care about a lot of different things and blacks, Latinos, whites, Asian Americans are not all coming to the polls and voting for candidates based on one or two factors that, you know, uh, elections are complicated, are nuanced. And, and so that is one thing though that he'll have to do is to show in States that aren't, uh, majority white, primarily white, they'll need to find a message that resonates with them. Speaker 1: 07:25 I've been speaking with Matt hall, editorial and opinion director at the San Diego union Tribune and Matt, thank you so much. Happy to do it. The California presidential primary is next Tuesday, March 3rd. Speaker 3: 07:50 [inaudible].

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After contests in three states, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the front runner in the race to be the Democratic nominee for president. But, The San Diego Union-Tribune's editorial board is recommending the country go in a different direction.
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