Chatter about California Governor Gavin Newsom being an effective surrogate for President Joe Biden and his message is increasing speculation about Newsom’s own inevitable candidacy (2028?), especially after the so-called Fox News debate Newsom had this week with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the stalled GOP candidate for President.
But the focus on Newsom obscures the fact that Biden has a number of prominent surrogates, like “Mayor” Pete Buttigieg — who, unlike Newsom, has already run once for the top job — and also ranks among Biden’s most effective surrogate communicators.
Buttigieg also has the advantage of his official capacity in the Biden administration, where he is Secretary of the Transportation, an historically limelight-free position that Buttigieg has transformed into a high-wattage platform to champion Biden’s infrastructure achievements.
With the ongoing turmoil in the GOP-led House of Representatives, many Republican congress members have been searching for wins they can boast about. [Texas Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) represented their dilemma by publicly begging any Republican to name a single thing they’ve accomplished since winning the majority — a rhetorical friendly-fire bombshell that Democrats are now using in their campaigns.]
What the win-hungry Republicans have been landing on lately — and taking credit for — are multiple projects in their districts which were seeded by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Biden administrations signature infrastructure investment legislation.
The problem is, as Buttigieg says below, every Republican in the House voted against the legislation whose benefits they are now taking credit for.
Sec. Buttigieg: Part of how we know President Biden’s achievements are delivering results for the American people… Lauren Boebert has written letters of support for projects in her district funded by Biden’s law that she voted no on and referred to as ‘garbage’ pic.twitter.com/JOzLSCTyoM— Biden-Harris HQ (@BidenHQ) December 1, 2023
Buttigieg singles out Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) for particular ridicule, knocking her for hypocrisy. Boebert “has written letters of support for projects in her district to be funded,” Buttigieg says, “by President Biden’s infrastructure package that she didn’t just vote ‘no’ on, but referred to as ‘garbage’.” Boebert, as Buttigieg puts it, wants that garbage now.
How do Democrats determine the projects are a net positive for America? “Even Republican members of the House who voted to prevent [the projects] are still there to celebrate them when they actually happen,” Buttigieg says.
Last week, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) visited construction on a new terminal at the Sarasota, Florida airport that used critical funds from Biden’s legislation. No Democrats were invited to the photo op.
.@SpeakerJohnson tours @SRQAirport.— Jacob Ogles (@jacobogles) November 27, 2023
"It gives us hope when a state is well led and you have great leaders like Rep. @VernBuchanan and others. You have a great delegation of Republican members of Congress from Florida and they are leaders in every respect in the chamber."#FlaPol pic.twitter.com/2JUhj3e5CG