Robert De Niro on Why Pete Buttigieg Is ‘What We Need Now’

The film icon and star of “The Irishman” sat down with Marlow Stern to discuss his beautiful new film with Scorsese, the Dems’ 2020 chances, and why Trump has gotta go—and fast.

by Marlow Stern – Nov 23, 2019 (, abridged)

What about Bernie? He’s a Brooklyn guy.

I like Bernie. I don’t know enough about what he does, but I know he appeals to a lot of people. And I like Elizabeth Warren too, but I don’t know how realistic it will be, to have them get everybody over the hump. I don’t know if people are ready for that. It’s too extreme.

So who do you think beats Trump in 2020?

Buttigieg I like a lot. He’s got all the credentials—Rhodes Scholar, Afghanistan veteran—even though he’s young, and if he could get a chance it could be something special, I think. As a gay person, he’s someone who comes from a marginalized community, so people from other ethnic groups can identify with him, even if they’re not gay, because they know what it’s like. I think he’s the best for what we need now. I have friends who really like him a lot, as I do. With Obama, he had the middle name “Hussein” and a lot of things that people tried to use against him—including Trump with the whole stupid “birther” thing—and he went right through it. It could happen with Buttigieg.

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