Buttigieg responded to Gabbard’s criticism of his ideas to expand law enforcement and military cooperation between the United States and Mexico.
“I was talking about U.S.-Mexico cooperation. We’ve been doing security cooperation with Mexico for years, with law enforcement cooperation and a military relationship that could continue to be developed with training relationships, for example. Do you really think anyone on this stage is proposing invading Mexico?”
Watch the exchange below:
Tulsi Gabbard criticized Pete Buttigieg as inexperienced before he quickly returned the attack over her meeting with Bashar al Assad. “Let’s also talk about judgment,” he said. “I would not have sat down with a murderous dictator like that.” #DemDebate https://t.co/l8SRQ7wyuR pic.twitter.com/llGXEEoaYV— POLITICO (@politico) November 21, 2019
Buttigieg appeared to mischaracterize Gabbard’s comments, claiming she said he was proposing a military invasion of Mexico, which she interjected to refute, “That’s not what I said.”
He continued to rip into her meeting with Assad and questioned her judgment.
“And if your question is about experience, let’s also talk about judgment. One of the foreign leaders you mentioned meeting was Bashar al-Assad. I have, in my experience, such as it is whether you think it counts or not since it wasn’t accumulated in Washington, enough judgment that I would not have sat down with a murderous dictator like that.”
Gabbard fired back, claiming that Buttigieg would “lack the courage to meet with both adversaries and friends” to promote peace.
“Your point about judgment is absolutely correct. Our Commander in Chief does need to have good judgment. And what you have just pointed out is that you would lack the courage to meet with both adversaries and friends to ensure the peace and national security of our nation.”
She added she follows the example of previous leaders who met with adversaries such as Ronald Reagan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Buttigieg quipped, “Like Donald Trump, who met with Kim.”