Scoop: Secretary Pete is busy selling Biden's jobs plan. His former advocacy group will sell Biden's larger agenda.
Plus: Rokita silent on Gaetz and Young sells Endless Frontiers Act.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
HOOSIER ALERT: “If you interview a Hoosier, inevitably a shot clock gets referenced,” CNN’s Jake Tapper told Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg this morning on “State of the Union,” when Buttigieg mentioned several “shot clocks” and deadlines for an infrastructure package to get through Congress, including the September deadline for reauthorization of the highway and transit funding program.
SCOOP: While Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is busy selling President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan, his nonprofit issue advocacy group is pivoting its mission to focus on five issues the former presidential candidate campaigned on — and it's doing so without him, and with new leadership.
Get the details in my exclusive for Insider (paywall).
Good Sunday morning, and welcome to IMPORTANTVILLE.
QUICK HITS FROM AROUND IMPORTANTVILLE
USA Today: Republican lies helped defeat us in 2020. We're going to shield House Democrats in 2022. (former Democrat congressional candidate Christina Hale is among the co-authors.)
WDRB: Indiana Sen. Todd Young said the U.S. needs to invest more in technology. Young visited Amatrol in Jeffersonville on Wednesday morning to talk about the "Endless Frontier Act."
ROKITA SILENT ON GAETZGATE
Last Summer, during the Republican mail-in convention for Indiana Attorney General, Todd Rokita solicited the support of a former fellow congressman: now-embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. In a voicemail, Gaetz, who is now under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly circulating nude photos among colleagues in Congress and is also at the center of a sex trafficking probe, endorsed Rokita.
Here's a snippet:
Hi, this is Congressman Matt Gaetz. My good friend Todd Rokita is running for attorney general of Indiana, and I hope you'll support him. In Congress, Todd Rokita and I fought together against wasteful spending, and to advance the Trump agenda. …
Now, a number of fellow Republicans are returning their donations and calling for Gaetz to resign. What does Rokita think? Does he stand by Gaetz and his endorsement?
Molly Deuberry Craft, Rokita’s communications director, did not respond to several messages seeking comment this week.
James Briggs, The Indianapolis Star: “With no identity or candidates, Indiana Democrats starting over under new chairman”
But the substance of Hale’s campaign barely mattered. The Indiana Democratic Party is operating without distinction from the national party, so candidates such as Hale are vulnerable to the prevailing conservative view of liberals. Spartz and the Republican Party branded Hale as a liberal socialist who pals around with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and that was that.
“What we really need right now are some wins,” Hale told me. “Our millennials and Gen Zers, they weren’t around when Evan Bayh and Joe Kernan and Gov. Frank O’Bannon were running the state in a way that people felt good about."
Alex Isenstadt, POLITICO: 'Dumb son of a bitch': Trump rips McConnell at Mar-a-Lago
Much of Trump's Saturday night speech was aimed at relitigating the election results, on which the former president has remained fixated. At one point he said he remained disappointed with Pence for not doing more to stop the certification of the election, which he called “rigged.”
Trump’s ongoing criticism of Pence has created a rift in their relationship. While several other potential 2024 Republican hopefuls made the trek to South Florida for the event, Pence did not.