Pete Buttigieg said Thursday he feels “sorry for the President” after Donald Trump used an apparently altered National Weather Service map to vindicate his erroneous claim Hurricane Dorian would affect Alabama, calling the President’s comments “literally pathetic.”
In an interview on “New Day,” the Democratic presidential hopeful called the doctored map, “an embarrassing moment for our country,” telling CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, “I feel sorry for the President, and that is not the way we should feel about the most powerful figure in this country, somebody on whose wisdom our lives literally depend.”
On Wednesday, Trump displayed an outlook map with what appeared to be a storm path extended over Alabama after he had erroneously claimed multiple times over the course of the storm’s development that Alabama had been in the storm’s path. The claim got pushback from weather experts, including the Birmingham, Alabama, branch of the National Weather Service.
“I don’t know if he felt it necessary to pull out a sharpie and change the map, I don’t know if one of his aides felt they had to do that to protect his ego. No matter how you cut it, this is an unbelievably sad state of affairs for our country,” Buttigieg told CNN.
“Look, when the presidency has been reduced to this, all of us are diminished because the presidency is supposed to be something we all look up to, even if we disagree with the President… what we’re seeing there is literally pathetic,” he continued. “It makes you feel a kind of pity for everybody involved, and that’s not how I want to feel about a president whether it’s for my party or the other.”
Buttigieg also defended tying climate change to faith during his performance in Wednesday night’s CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall, where he suggested inaction over climate change is “a kind of sin.”
“Frankly, every religious and non-religious moral tradition tells us that we have some responsibility of stewardship, some responsibility for taking care of what’s around us and our neighbor,” Buttigieg told moderator Chris Cuomo. “Eventually it gets to the point this is less and less about the planet as an abstract thing and more about specific people suffering specific harm because of what we’re doing right now.”
On Thursday morning, Buttigieg told CNN, “I’m going to tread carefully here, because it’s very important to me never to impose my religious views on anyone else, because I know what can happen when people in government decide to do that, but we’re having a national conversation, and I think it’s absolutely appropriate for us to speak to people whose moral and political choices are guided by faith.”
“This isn’t just about saving the planet, it’s about saving the people,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said. “And I do think the believers need to ask if what’s going on in Washington is compatible to what their moral calling tells them to do when it comes to the climate.”