Poll: Most Americans Want Buttigieg To Quit Transportation Post

Transportation secretary has faced criticism over department's response to East Palestine train disaster

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks in East Palestine, Ohio / Getty Images
March 14, 2023

The majority of American voters want embattled transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg to quit his post following his department's bungled response to the East Palestine train derailment and toxic chemical release.

Fifty-one percent of voters said they want Buttigieg out of the job, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, compared with just 36 percent who say he should stay. Forty-one percent said they believe Buttigieg is doing a worse job than past transportation secretaries.

After the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio, and authorities' subsequent release of toxic chemicals into the town's air and water, Buttigieg failed to mention the crisis for nearly two weeks. His in-person visit came three weeks after the crash, and one day after former president Donald Trump visited the devastated town.

In recent weeks, Buttigieg has fumed over criticism he has faced over his handling of the crisis, calling the claim that he only visited the town because of Trump "bullshit." He spent his East Palestine visit blaming others, especially Republicans.

"It's really rich to see some of these folks—the former president, these Fox hosts—who are literally lifelong card-carrying members of the East Coast elite," Buttigieg told CNN.

In light of the blowback from his response, Buttigieg told CNN the controversy has taught him to do "performative work."

"Sometimes people need policy work, and sometimes people need performative work," Buttigieg said. "And to get to this level, you’ve got to be ready to serve up both."

Buttigieg is also under investigation for his use of private government jets.