Don Beyer, after Buttigieg endorsement, says a woman "needs" to be on the Democratic ticket

By Tyler Kendall

/ CBS News

Beyer talks Buttigieg endorsement

Rep. Don Beyer was South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg'sfirst Congressional endorsement, and he said Wednesday that he "deeply" believes there needs to be a woman on the Democratic ticket "either as president or vice president." "We have four or five terrific women in the mix right now. We'll see how that evolves," the Virginia Democrat told CBSN's "Red & Blue" on Wednesday.

Beyer last week became the first member of Congress to officially throw support behind Buttigieg. The three-term Congressman was also an early supporter of former President Obama's first campaign, endorsing him in 2007.

In a party clamoring for diversity at the top of the ticket, Beyer said he did take that factor into consideration when deciding where to focus his support.

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"I didn't pick Pete because he was a man," Beyer said. "I picked Pete because I thought he was the smartest, best prepared to be president."

Pete Buttigieg questioned on white male privilege in 2020 race

Beyer said he's discouraged "the world's oldest democracy" has yet to elect a woman president, but "at least in the short run," he's doing all he can for Buttigieg. There are several women are running for president, including Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar.

Critics have called Buttigieg doesn't have enough experience to president, a charge with which Beyer disagreed.

"I was also a little skeptical about the small town, until I realized that he has 1,000 employees in South Bend," he said. "Typically on the Hill, we have somewhere between 10 and 20 employees to manage. So he's had management challenges much bigger than what a typical political leader has had."

The field of Democratic contenders got even more crowded last weekend when former Vice President Joe Biden jumped in the race. His entry brought the number of Democratic contenders to 21.

Beyer said Biden would also be a good nominee, since he is "terrifically schooled in every aspect of foreign and domestic policy." He said his wife is supporting Biden.

"Seriously, every single one them would be a better president than Donald Trump," Beyer added.

Beyer is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which launched an investigation into President Trump's finances. He didn't express optimism the Treasury Department will release six years of Mr. Trump's tax returns by the May 6 deadline.

"From the beginning, we expected Trump to fight this as far as he possibly could," Beyer said. "The sad part for the American public is that he is so reluctant to let anyone see it, means we probably really do need to see what's in there."

First published on May 2, 2019 / 12:45 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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