Public opinion may be turning on Pete Buttigieg as anger mounts over his poor job performance. A silent majority of Americans now want the Transportation Secretary to resign, a new poll found.
The Rassmussen survey found that 51 percent want Buttigieg to step down following the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
Public opinion turns on Buttigieg
The poll shows the impact of partisanship, with most Democrats saying Buttigieg should not resign. 51 percent of independents believe Buttigieg should resign, but just 35 percent of Democrats agree.
Overall, just 36 percent say he should stay, and 13 percent are unsure. The poll was taken March 6-8, 2023, and has a 3 percent margin of error.
Once an object of fascination on the left, Buttigieg ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020 before kowtowing to Joe Biden, who later rewarded the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana with a top Cabinet post.
Buttigieg has seen his political star dim since entering his current role, in which he has overseen an almost constant series of transportation-related disasters, from near-collisions at airports to train derailments.
Pointing the finger
Buttigieg has appeared almost totally absorbed in deflecting blame, especially on former President Trump, whom he has falsely accused of causing the East Palestine chemical disaster.
Criticism of Buttigieg reached a new peak after he took three weeks to visit East Palestine, a day after Trump, who is no longer in public office, did.
Many contrasted Buttigieg’s delayed response with his focus on “diversity.”
“As Ohioans fled their homes and worried about their health, the secretary of transportation was on TV whining about too many white people in construction industries,” Republican Mike Collins (Ga.) said.
Buttigieg refuses to resign
Buttigieg has resisted pressure to resign, however, saying, “No, I serve at the pleasure of the president and I’m proud to be doing this work.”
The famously slippery politician has continued to receive support from Biden, who previously dismissed Buttigieg as inexperienced during the 2020 Democratic primary.
The White House lashed out Monday after former Vice President Mike Pence made a joke about Buttigieg, who is gay, taking “maternity leave.” It’s not entirely clear whether Buttigieg used a surrogate mother to give birth to adopted twins.
“Attacking a parent for taking leave when their infants were in the hospital is a poor definition of ‘family values,'” the administration said.