Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg visits Austin for fundraiser

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was in Austin Saturday for a fundraiser. 

The Democrat met with supporters at Buford’s Beer Garden on West Sixth Street and covered a variety of topics ranging from climate change to education during his event. 

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana is currently running in fifth place according to the latest polls released on Wednesday. He is one of nine Democratic candidates who have qualified for the third debate in Houston in September. 

In order to participate in that debate, candidates must have $130,000 donations from unique donors and have reached at least 2% in four different polls. 

Earlier this week, he released his proposals to combat gun violence and domestic terrorism. His ideas include dedicating $1 billion to prevent and combat radicalization and violent extremism, instituting universal background checks, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and supporting red-flag laws.

He also wants to see federal funding for gun violence research. 

“America’s certainly not secure if our leaders are not willing to name and confront white nationalist violence that is killing more and more people in this country,” he said. “We’ve got to stand up to that because America is under attack. We’re not secure if we allow the Second Amendment to be twisted into a death sentence for tens and thousands of Americans. This is a national security issue.” 

Earlier in the day, Buttigieg joined more than a dozen Democratic presidential candidates at a gun safety forum in Iowa.

Beto O’Rourke sent in a taped speech since he’s still helping his community in El Paso following the mass shooting that took place a week ago. 

“As we mourn with this community and grieve the loss of life and are there with the survivors to make sure that they come back stronger and better than ever, we’re also here to make sure that we tell our story,” he said. “A story of a community that is one of, if not the safest cities in America.” 

O’Rourke is also calling for universal background checks, a ban on the sale of assault weapons and red-flag laws. 

Texan Julian Castro was also at the gun safety forum — and who also released his own gun safety plan earlier in the week — proposed steps that he thinks could be taken at a local, community level. 

“I would implement a 20 percent excise tax on ammunition and firearms – from 10% to 20% to fund community programs that combat gun violence in those local communities,” he said.

In Austin, Buttigieg said youth have found their voice politically and can help drive the conversations on issues of climate change, as well as gun violence. 

“What we see right now is young people taking the lead and their parents and their grandparents at their side cheering them on,” he said. “That is something that is changing the game. That is what the inter-generational alliance looks like.” 

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