South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg implied on Monday that supporters of President Trump tacitly support racism.
“Anyone who supported this President is, at best, looking the other way on racism,” Buttigieg said at a South Carolina campaign event.
This is not the first time that Buttigieg has made this comment. In August, the Mayor told CNN’s State of the Union that a vote for Trump in 2020 would mean ignoring racism in the U.S.
“Do you think that it’s a racist act to cast a vote for President Trump in 2020?” host Jake Tapper asked the candidate.
“Well, at best, it means looking the other way on racism,” Buttigieg responded. “Basically, what [Trump] is saying is, I want you to look the other way on racism.”
Buttigieg began this week a four-day campaign tour of North and South Carolina and Alabama, in a bid to reach out to black voters. The Mayor was polling at zero percent among black voters in South Carolina in November, which according to some reports was due to concern over his sexuality.
“We certainly knew that there was an opportunity and a need to mix it up in terms of our style of engagement and our approach,” Buttigieg told the New York Times on Tuesday.
In an October debate, Buttigieg said he was the candidate “who can turn the page and unify a dangerously polarized country.”
The mayor is leading polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to hold primary caucuses. Nationally he remains in fourth place, well behind frontrunner Joe Biden and trailing progressives Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has complained that since Kamala Harris dropped out of the presidential race, the Democratic field has become much less diverse.
“We’re spiraling toward a debate stage without a single person of color,” Booker wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.