President Donald Trump doubts that South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg could represent the United States with world leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The 2020 presidential candidate’s response to that: a Chinese proverb.
During a rally in Panama City, Fla., Wednesday Trump sarcastically joked that Buttigieg would do “great” in representing the United States with foreign leaders.
“He’s got a great chance, doesn’t he? He’ll be great,” Trump said of the 37-year-old. “He’ll be great representing us against President Xi of China. That’ll be great.
“I want to be in that room, I wanna watch that one,” Trump quipped.
More: 4 decades separate 2020’s presidential candidates. Here’s what that looks like.
While speaking with reporters during a campaign stop in California on Thursday, Buttigieg said he wasn’t worried about Trump’s “name-calling and the games he plays.”
Instead, he pointed to an oft-quoted Chinese proverb to respond to the president’s recent attack.
“I was thinking of a Chinese proverb that goes ‘When the wind changes, some people build walls, some people build windmills,'” Buttiegieg said. “You got to recognize we need something completely different than what we have in this White House.”
More: Pete Buttigieg targeted in operation by right-wing provocateur Jacob Wohl
In touching on both walls and windmills, the saying hit on two policy areas Trump has discussed.
Immigration has been a main policy focus for Trump since the launch of his 2016 campaign, especially building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has also repeatedly criticized wind farms, erroneously claiming the noise they generate causes cancer.
Like what you’re reading?: Download the USA TODAY app for more
Trump also mocked Buttigieg’s name during his Wednesday rally.
“We have Boot-edge-edge. Boot edge-edge. They say ‘edge-edge,'” Trump said, referencing the Indiana Mayor’s popular slogan found in his campaign headquarters and on some of his campaign gear.
In his response, Buttigieg also criticized Trump’s strategy on trade as the Chinese returned to Washington Thursday for more high-stakes negotiations and on interacting with foreign leaders, saying such talks are “usually a personal high-wire act with no safety net and that’s no way to run a country.”
“It’s certainly no way to engage with one of the major powers in the world. America deserves better,” he said.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/09/buttigieg-trolls-trump-chinese-proverb/1156387001/