Pete Buttigieg rejects notion of rivalry or tension with Kamala Harris: ‘There’s no room to get caught up in the parlor games’

Pete Buttigieg
Secretary Buttigieg is taking an even more high-profile turn as he sells a trillion-dollar infrastructure package around the nation. He took his first international trip as a Cabinet member to COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.
  • Transportation Secretary Buttigieg has rejected any notion of a rivalry with Vice President Harris.
  • While on NBC's "Meet the Press," Buttigieg spoke of the pair's strong work relationship.
  • "She and I are part of a team that is disciplined and doesn't focus on what's obsessing the commentators," he said.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday rejected any notion of a rivalry or tension with Vice President Kamala Harris, emphasizing that the pair have a strong work partnership.

During an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Buttigieg told host Chuck Todd that his focus, similar to the vice president, rests with the work that he's doing as a Cabinet member under President Joe Biden.

When Todd asked if coverage regarding Harris's political standing have affected their relationship, he flatly refuted the idea.

"No, because she and I are part of a team that is disciplined and doesn't focus on what's obsessing the commentators. We're too busy with a job to do. She, as the leader in this administration, with her leadership role, and I, and the president, and everybody else in the cabinet and across the administration, are laser-focused on getting the job done," he said.

Buttigieg went on detail how Biden has tasked the two Democrats with consequential work that supersedes any sort of political machinations.

"We have been assigned by the president to take on — literally — projects and legislation of generational significance. There's no room to get caught up in the parlor games, and I'm proud to be part of the Biden-Harris team," he said.

In the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, Biden, Harris, and Buttigieg all ran against each for the party's nomination — with the now-president emerging as the dominant force in the process after the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday.

While Harris exited the race before the Iowa caucuses, Buttigieg performed strongly in the first-in-the-nation state and New Hampshire before encountering political turbulence in South Carolina and suspending his campaign in March 2020..

Biden, who served in the Senate from 1973 to 2009 before his tenure as vice president from 2009 to 2017, has pledged to be a "bridge" to the new generation of Democratic leaders, which would clearly include Harris and Buttigieg.

For months, there has been speculation that Biden might not run for reelection — paving the way for a possible collision-course between Harris and Buttigieg — but a recent Washington Post article confirmed that the president and his allies are gearing up for a 2024 campaign.

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