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Pete Buttigieg Warns U.S. Facing 'Crisis' In New Book, 'Trust': Confidence In Country At 'Emergency Levels'"

(CBS Local)-- There is just one week remaining until the 2020 presidential election between President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden and the biggest thing that former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is focused on is trust. The former South Bend mayor won the Iowa Caucus in February and endorsed Biden after he dropped out of the race in March.

Buttigieg has been a key surrogate in spreading the message of the Biden Harris ticket across many different platforms recently and also disseminates several key points in his new book "Trust," which is new available as an audiobook with Simon & Schuster. The former presidential candidate narrated the book himself and he feels as though his book couldn't come at a more important time for the American people.

"I thought it was important to have this conversation going into election season because we need greater trust," said Buttigieg, in an interview with CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith. "We have a crisis when you look at the level of trust in our institutions, trust in each other and the amount of trust the world has in the U.S. right now. These are all at emergency levels and we got to do something about it because the biggest problems in our world right now require attention from leaders. Whether we are talking about the pandemic, climate change, racial justice, it only gets better if we have cooperation. We can only have cooperation if we have trust. I wanted to write about how we got here, some of the things that have undermined trust historically like Vietnam and Watergate and other things like Russian operations designed to make us trust each other less."

Buttigieg's audiobook is available for download now. In addition to the election, one of the other big things that Buttigieg is focused on is the addition of new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. President Trump has now appointed three Supreme Court Justices and the legal protection of gay marriage could be coming under the microscope again. Buttigieg was the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate and is also married to his husband Chasten.

"It's a real concern for us. I believe and this is just my own faith tradition and my own personal experience that my marriage is something that moves me nearer to God with that experience of love. Thankfully, we belong to a church that was accepting and we were able to get married in the church. It was important to us and America is a country that is built around people largely seeking free exercise of their faith. What's so important is for people of every religion or of no religion to know that they stand equal in this country. Where we get into so much trouble is where someone thinks it is okay to impose their interpretation of their religion on others."


Regardless of who wins the election, the economy will be a major focus for the country moving into next year and beyond. Buttigieg believes we need to do a better job of looking after the marginalized and those in need. The former presidential candidate feels as though a Biden administration would focus on what matters most in addressing the economic issues of this country.

"I think what you'll see is a focus on the economy as it hits our lives," said Buttigieg. "Not just the stock market because that is not enough. For the wealthiest people to be doing well, that might lead to good overall economic averages, but it doesn't actually mean we're better off. In many ways, people are actually worse off, even before the pandemic started in terms of the ability someone working full-time to be able to get buy. So what you're going to see is a focus on economic growth, a focus on job creation and also a focus on pay and wages that are fair. That workers can get ahead and childcare is affordable. The basics we need in order to do well."

Watch all of DJ Sixsmith's interviews from "The Sit-Down" series here.

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