Speed Reads

Foreign policy

Buttigieg criticizes both Trump and Democrats in sweeping foreign policy speech

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential candidate, stole some of President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden's spotlight on Tuesday with a sweeping foreign policy speech at Indiana University.

Buttigieg's speech was light on hard policy details, and heavy on broad ideas, though that was his intention. He did not, he said, mean to "deliver a full Buttigieg doctrine," but instead sought to lay out why "the world today needs America more than ever, but only if America can be at her best." Buttigieg then criticized the Trump administration's approach to foreign relations, saying that it "hardly had a foreign policy at all." But he also made clear that the Democrats haven't been much better at creating a consistent foreign policy during the 37-year-old's lifetime.

Buttigeg then addressed Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Israel, immigration, and climate change — in general, the mayor focused on re-committing to multilateral diplomacy and placing an emphasis human rights. The speech was received well in the auditorium, prompting several rounds of applause throughout. Others have also already offered their praise online.

There is also a sense that the speech will appeal, specifically, to those hoping for a centrist foreign policy, which is in line with a fair amount of the analysis surrounding Buttigieg's candidacy as a whole. Tim O'Donnell