Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg shakes the hands of supporters Tuesday outside the Indiana University Auditorium. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)
Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg shakes the hands of supporters Tuesday outside the Indiana University Auditorium. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg outlined during a Tuesday speech the five tasks he’d perform as the nation’s next president to ensure America has a foreign policy that presents its best self to the world.

He delivered his remarks, titled “America and the World: National Security for a New Era,” shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday to a crowded Indiana University Auditorium.

Former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., introduced Buttigieg by listing some of the campaign’s priorities: universal health care, reduced income inequality, immigration as a way to strengthen the country and the right for every woman to make her own reproductive choices. The last drew thunderous applause, as did Buttigieg when he took the stage to outline his approach to global relations.

“I want to lay out how I believe American interests and American values can be aligned across American relationships, with a view to everyday life in places like my hometown of South Bend,” Buttigieg said. “The world today needs America more than ever, but only if America can be at her best.”

He said the United States hardly has a current foreign policy, leaving President Donald Trump’s administration to a troubling pattern. Its actions have embraced and emboldened autocrats, he said, while alienating democracies and allies around the world. He said those strained relations have provoked trade wars, and have led to a lack of investment in such things as infrastructure and education. All of this is happening, he said, as the nation undermines its alliances, partnerships and treaties.

The 37-year-old U.S. Navy Reserves veteran said he considers the year 2054 — the year he hopes to retire at President Donald Trump’s current age of 72 — when forming his foreign policies.

To accomplish his goals, Buttigieg said the next president would need to end the nation’s “endless wars.” He said the nation needs to refocus on future threats, and the American people must work to promote their values by reversing the rise of authoritarianism abroad. The next president must treat climate change as an “existential” national security issue, he said, and make changes to those dated institutions through which the nation engages with the world.

Finally, he said this all must be done with the involvement of voices from across the nation.
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