2020 Democrat Pete Buttigieg does not regret claiming that President Trump’s supporters were “at best looking the other way on racism.”
In August, Buttigieg, 38, said that he believes supporting Trump means voters are willing to ignore racism. He explained, “Basically what he’s saying is, ‘All right, I want you to look the other way on the racism, tolerate the negativity, accept the instability of my administration because I’m going to deliver for you job growth almost as good as the Obama years.’ That’s what his argument amounts to right now, and it’s part of the reason why he’s unpopular.”
During a Sunday interview on State of the Union, CNN host Jake Tapper asked if claiming that the 63 million voters who supported Trump were ignoring racism was a “broad brush” argument that he regrets. The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, however, reinforced his remarks.
“No, I am very concerned about the racial division that this president has fostered. And I’m meeting a lot of voters who are no longer willing to look the other way on that, looking for a new political home,” Buttigieg explained. “And that is one of the reasons why we have seen so many people, in addition to the die-hard Democrats who are coming to our events, we are seeing the independents and a remarkable number of people who tell me that they are those future, former Republicans that I like to talk about in our campaign.”
He added, “It’s not that I am pretending to be more conservative than I am. It’s that if we don’t agree on everything, we can at least agree on turning the page and moving past what this president has done to this country.”
Buttigieg has struggled to gain support from black voters throughout his campaign. According to RealClearPolitics polling averages, he is in third place in Iowa and New Hampshire but slumps to fifth place in South Carolina, which has a higher population of black voters.