WATCH VIDEO: Pete Buttigieg's Speech In New Hampshire

Feb 12, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at his primary night watch party on February 11, 2020 in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Credit Matthew Cavanaugh / Getty Images

Here is the text and video of Pete Buttigieg's speech in New Hampshire Tuesday night after the primary results were in.


Thank you, New Hampshire. Thank you so much.

One more time for our phenomenal New Hampshire state co-chairs. Thank you for your leadership. and thank you for your commitment.

Thank you to our extraordinary national co-chair, Congresswoman Annie Kuster, who knows how to raise the roof and how to get out the vote.

And thank you to Chasten, the love of my life who keeps me grounded, and makes me whole.

I want to congratulate my competitors and their supporters on their campaigns here in New Hampshire. I admired Senator Sanders when I was a high school student. I respect him greatly to this day, and I congratulate him on his strong showing tonight. And I want to congratulate Senator Klobuchar, Senator Warren, Vice-President Biden, and all of our Democratic candidates and supporters.

And I know that we all share the spirit that we heard from some of our volunteers at a poll site earlier today, who welcomed a competing candidate with chants of "Vote blue, no matter who." We are on the same team.

Now over the past year, some two dozen campaigns of have crisscrossed this state, each laying claim to the ability to bring people together, turn out the vote, and move Americans toward a brighter future.

And here in a state that goes by the motto. "Live free or die," you made up your own minds.

You asserted that famous independent streak and thanks to you, a campaign that some said shouldn't be here at all has shown that we are here to stay.

So many of you turned out, die hard Democrats, Independents unwilling to stay on the sidelines, and even some newly former Republicans ready to vote for something new, ready to vote for a politics defined by how many we call in, instead of by who we push out.  So many of you chose to meet a new era of challenge with a new generation of leadership. So many of you decided that a middle-class mayor and a veteran from the industrial midwest was the right choice to take on this president, not in spite of that experience, but because of it.

Now our campaign moves on to Nevada, to South Carolina, to communities across our country, and we will welcome new allies to our movement at every step.

We'll go forward thanks to the work of our extraordinary team of staff and organizers and volunteers -- I may be biased on this, but I'm also right. We have the finest team in politics today.

And I want you to know that you don't just represent me well, you inspire me, and I cannot say enough how thankful I am to our extraordinary team. And we know that team stretches across the country. We go forward fueled by hundreds of thousands of grassroots supporters from the woman in Minnesota who donated in honor of the wife she lost to lung cancer, to the veteran from Connecticut who sent $19.68 in honor of the year that he served in Vietnam. This campaign belongs to them.

And if our campaign moves you, I hope you'll go to and chip in whatever you can.

And we go forward knowing that this is our chance, our only chance, not just to end the era of Donald Trump, but to launch the era that we know must come next.

And the stakes could not be higher. We cannot afford to miss the mark or to miss this moment. We must get this right. With Americans living under an unaccountable president, who will cut taxes for corporations and then cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security for the rest of us. We must get this right. When people of color fear for their own place in their own country, while infants are torn from their parents at the border, we must get this right. And when a commander-in-chief pardons war criminals and punishes war heroes, while systematically demolishing the credibility of our country in the eyes of the world, we dare not risk four more years of this presidency. We must get this right.

We are clear eyed about the challenge before us, and we must be equally clear about the choice at hand. My competitors and I share the same fundamental goals, bringing balance to our economy, guaranteeing healthcare to every American, combating a climate crisis and a rising tide of gun violence. But we do differ in what we believe it will take to make that happen. In this election season, we have been told by some that you must either be for a revolution or you are for the status quo, but where does that leave the rest of us? Most Americans don't see where they fit in that polarized vision. And we can't defeat the most divisive president in modern American history by tearing down anybody who doesn't agree with us. 100% of the time.

Americans want the freedom to make choices for themselves on healthcare on any other issue, not to have Washington decide for them. And a politics of "my way or the highway" is a road to reelecting Donald Trump. Vulnerable Americans do not have the luxury of pursuing ideological purity over an inclusive victory. We know this.

We also know better than to try to defeat such a disruptive president by relying on the same Washington framework and mindset. After all, if today's Washington were serving America, a guy like Donald Trump would never have come within cheating distance of the oval office in the first place.

So to win and to govern, we need to bring new voices to our capital. We need to get Washington starting to work more like our best run cities and towns rather than the other way around.

And I know that when you talk this way, you might get dismissed as a naive newcomer, but a fresh outlook is what makes new beginnings possible. It is how we build a new majority.

And election after election has shown us that putting forward a new perspective is how Democrats win the White House, and we will win the White House.

So as we take this campaign to the rest of the country, let's welcome that debate. Let's have that debate. Let's debate what the best way forward is-- the best way to earn the White House and the best way to unify this country. And the answers-- they lie in a vision that brings Americans together-- not only in the knowledge of what we must stand against but in the confidence of knowing what we are for.

This is the powerful majority we are gathering together from Davenport to Dover, from Carson City to Columbia. It is a coalition of addition, not subtraction. It is a movement reaching into church basements and barbershops, into universities and union halls-- carrying the same values with us everywhere we go. We saw that coalition awakening. We saw it tonight in cities and suburbs from the sea coast to those industrial towns too often left behind.

And together we are building a future where there will be no such thing as an uninsured American or an unaffordable prescription. That's what we can deliver with a plan most Americans can get behind-- Medicare for All Who Want It-- ensuring care for every American but trusting you to choose whether you want it and when you want it.

Together we will stop enabling corporate greed and start raising wages-- empowering workers and making good on the idea that one job ought to be enough. Together, we will stop sending our young people into the teeth of endless wars and start recruiting every American in the fight for our climate future. Together we will mobilize the overwhelming majority of Americans demanding common sense action to protect our children and communities from gun violence. Together we will ensure in our time that we deliver the day when your race has no bearing on your health, or your wealth, your access to education, or your experience with law enforcement. We must deliver that day. Together we will deliver a democracy worthy of the name. No more manipulated districts, no more dollars outvoting people. And whether it is the Black vote in Georgia, the native vote in North Dakota or the student vote here in New Hampshire-- no more voter suppression.

Together we can build that American experience defined by belonging. We can say to a young woman in a hijab enduring taunts because of her religion, to a young man feeling fear instead of safety when he spots the lights of a police vehicle-- we can say you belong securely in the heart of the American project. We can show people of every religion and of no religion that this country belongs to you equally and practice of politics that insists that God does not belong to a political party. We can tell an auto worker thrown around by tectonic shifts in our economy that yes, our economic future has a place for you and we need you in it. And we can say to a Dreamer lying awake at night questioning if this country is her own-- [SPANISH]-- this country is your country too.

That better future can be ours and that better future we are creating is not just a new chapter in American history, it is a new and better story in our everyday lives. That's what's at stake. When you've held your father's hand in a hospital room, grateful that thanks to something called Medicare, your family won't lose its home even as it is losing one of its own-- you know what is at stake. When you have written a letter and marked it 'just in case' and left it where your family can find it before you leave for a war zone on the orders of an American president-- you understand what's at stake. When the best part of your day is coming home to a loving spouse in a marriage that exists by the grace of a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court-- you will never forget what is at stake.

This election isn't just historic, it is personal. It is urgent. And we know why we're here. We are here because the purpose of the presidency is not the glorification of the president, it is the empowerment and the unification of the American people. So as we prepare to go West for the first in the West contest in Nevada, as we had to state that looks like the future, I ask you to join us in taking a stand for a better tomorrow. Join us as we turn the page to a new chapter in America's story and a better day for each of us. And when we do, one day books will tell not just of one election, but of the era that began with you here in New Hampshire.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your support. Let's go out and win this thing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.