Buttigieg tells Republicans history will judge them harshly if they fail to stand up to Trump

Lisa Belkin
Chief National Correspondent

For most of the Democratic debate on Tuesday night, the candidates aimed their remarks at an audience of voters. Sometimes they aimed them more narrowly at the audience physically in the hall, or the journalists on the stage.

But for one moment South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg looked directly at the camera and spoke to an unexpected audience — Republican members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. He asked them to consider how history will judge their responses to President Trump.

The question asked was about whether, at 37, he was too young to run for president, for which the constitutional requirement is 35. “Should voters consider age when choosing a president?” both he and Sen. Bernie Sanders were asked.

Sanders spoke about how vision is more important than age, while Buttigieg began on the same note, but quickly pivoted to the current elected officials who he said were “enablers” of the current president.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. (Photo: Paul Sancya/AP)

“If you are watching this at home,” he said, “and you are a Republican member of Congress, consider the fact that when the sun sets on your career and they are writing your story of all the good and bad things you did in your life, the thing you will be remembered for is whether in this moment with this president you found the courage to stand up to him, or continued to put party over country.”

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