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This year, Valley Public Radio is doing elections coverage differently. We’re asking listeners and residents, what do you want candidates to talk about? Are you concerned about healthcare, housing, or homelessness?We put out a survey from July through October to find out. More than 150 residents throughout the San Joaquin Valley took the survey.The most concerning issue for many is how the economy will recover from COVID-19. Others identified housing and homelessness in local communities as a major issue; others were most concerned for the environment. As we interview candidates and continue our election coverage, we’ll keep these responses in mind. You can keep up with our coverage on this page, or send questions about our process to Laura Tsutsui at ltsutsui@kvpr.org.

Pete Buttigieg Answers ‘Hardball’ Questions In Fresno, Ranging From Impeachment To Foster Care

Laura Tsutsui
Valley Public Radio
Pete Buttigieg answered questions from MSNBC host Chris Matthews and an audience in Fresno at a live taping of ‘Hardball.’";s:

A fourth generation walnut farmer and a dad who adopted through the foster system were among those asking presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg questions at a live taping of MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” this evening.

The taping was on Fresno State’s campus, where Matthews and audience members asked the Indiana-based mayor for his take on topics ranging from gun-control to abortion rights.


Jacqueline Lowe, a local walnut farmer, was the first in the audience to ask a question: “What are your ideas on trade policy and tariffs as they relate to farmers and agriculture policy?”

Buttigieg answered that he wanted to make sure policies are fair, not politically motivated.

“The products that are grown here are world class,” Buttigieg said. “What we’re finding is that because of a shortsighted, I can't even call it a strategy, I can’t even call it a policy. It’s a pattern of poking people in the eye to see what’ll happen.”

Right now, the U.S. is in a year-long trade war with China, which President Donald Trump says will lead to fairer trade.


Another question came from Calvin Fleming, a self-identified gay dad who asked how Buttigieg would improve the foster care system.

“It’s okay that states can have some independence on this but it is not okay for children to be kicked around from home to home, for wait lists to be infinitely long,”Buttigieg said. "By the way, it would make a big difference if it were harder for agencies to discriminate against same sex parents who can provide loving families.”

Buttigieg acknowledged that he and his partner, Chasten Buttigieg, are considering growing their family; however, they’re focusing on Buttigieg’s campaign for now.

One audience member asked if Buttigieg supported impeaching the president, to which Buttigieg said, "I believe that the president deserves to be impeached."


He went on to say that he supports following the process of impeachment and waiting for Congress to finish gathering information.


Matthews asked whether Buttigieg would vote to impeach the president, if he were a sitting member of Congress. "Definitely," Buttigieg responded.


Buttigieg, who is currently mayor of South Bend, Indiana is running in a field of twenty-one democratic presidential candidates. He was ranked third highest in one recent national poll from The Hill and HarrisX, with around 8 percent support.   


Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.
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