Pete Buttigieg is one of the lesser-known candidates in the 2020 presidential race. However, Slate says that he has potential to capture the attention of the American people. “Buttigieg brings up the possibility of abolishing the Electoral College and granting statehood to Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico,” they wrote. “He’s ‘just asking’ whether doing either ‘makes sense,’ but if he’s ever ready to answer those questions in the affirmative, his campaign would instantly become impossible to ignore.”
Specifically, Buttigieg described himself as “Asking whether it makes sense to continue to go on with fellow American citizens in places like D.C. and Puerto Rico denied full political representation.”
Does that mean that he supports statehood for Puerto Rico? Quite a few news outlets have said so. But he may just be talking about changing the way the U.S. votes.
American people don’t vote for presidents; states do
The voters in each state vote in presidential elections. The electors for each state then take their knowledge of their states’ winners to the Electoral College. The electors vote for president, usually following the preferences of voters in their states. The candidate voted in by the Electoral College, not the candidate chosen by the popular vote, is the winner.
So it is actually the states rather than the people who vote for the president.
Buttigeig wants the vote for Puerto Rico
In a podcast, Buttigieg said, “It’s OK to ask whether we have the right setup on the Supreme Court or whether the House has the right number of representatives or whether the U.S. has the right number of states, which by the way it doesn’t.”
Asked whether he was talking about statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico, Buttigieg responded, “D.C. for sure. Puerto Rico, look the Puerto Ricans have some decisions to make but even there, I think on day one, I would make the case that they should at least have a voice in the electoral process for the presidency.”
That’s not strong support for statehood for Puerto Rico. Saying that “even there… they should at least have a voice” is not strong support for equal rights for Puerto Rico.
We want a clear answer
Help us out by clicking the tweet below. It will show up on your Twitter account, and maybe Buttigieg will answer the question.@PeteButtigieg do you support statehood for Puerto Rico? #PR51st Click To Tweet