DERRY, N.H. — On the same day when congressional Democrats took their first formal vote on the impeachment inquiry, Pete Buttigieg, South Bend, Ind., mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said in an interview with the Globe that there would be “a lot of benefit” for the country if President Trump had a “thumping defeat” in the 2020 elections instead of being removed from office.
“The impeachment process is based on a constitutional standard and needs to run its course accordingly,” Buttigieg said after wrapping up two days of campaign events in New Hampshire. “I will say that there would be a lot of benefit to Trump and Trumpism getting a resounding, thumping defeat at the ballot box because I think that is what will be required for congressional Republicans to be reunited with their conscience.”
These comments came just moments before the House voted 232-196 to pass ground rules for how the next level of impeachment hearings will proceed, which are expected to include public, televised testimony. All Republicans voted against the measure and were joined by two Democrats.
Buttigieg was slower than many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to say the House should move forward with an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
Unlike many of his rivals who use more pugilistic rhetoric, Buttigieg has talked about trying to unify the country, how he’ll work to bring people together.
Or as Buttigieg told an audience of close to 150 at the Opera House in Derry: “This hyperpartisanship won’t be solved in Washington — it will be solved by you.”
Later, in the interview, Buttigieg reiterated that “impeachment is not about solving our political problems. Impeachment is about accountability for an abuse of power.”
“The most important thing is to set up the next presidency and that is part of the process I actually have a part in,” he said.
James Pindell can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell or subscribe to his Ground Game newsletter on politics: http://pages.email.bostonglobe.com/GroundGameSignUp