Pete Buttigieg, an Indiana mayor suddenly leading in polls for the DNC presidential nomination in early primary states, has accused supporters of President Donald Trump “at best looking the other way on racism.”
Campaigning in South Carolina on Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday’s Democrat debate, the South Bend mayor was was filmed accusing “anyone who supported this president” of either being racist or unacceptably tolerant of it.
BUTTIGIEG: “Anyone who supported this President is at best looking the other way on racism, at best.” pic.twitter.com/6NbCxBwC4X
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 3, 2019
Accusing Trump of racism has been an article of faith among the Democrats for years, and asking for evidence is a surefire way to get branded a racist oneself. Just two months prior to the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton famously declared half of Trump’s supporters as an irredeemable “basket of deplorables… racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic you name it.”
Democrats have mostly reacted to Buttigieg’s remark by calling it a true fact, or quibbling about semantics – saying that “looking the other way, at best” isn’t quite calling people racist outright.
Trump supporters, meanwhile, heard an echo of Clinton’s words, and pointed out that it didn’t work out so well for her in the end.
Pete Buttigieg accuses millions of supporting racism by way of voting for Trump: https://t.co/N4JLmsNAz2
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) December 3, 2019
“Way to insult half the nation. Ask [Hillary Clinton] how that worked out for her,” and “This is why [Democrats] are going to lose in 2020… Easier to dehumanize the opponent and his supporters than try to win them over” were some of the common takes on social media after Buttigieg’s remarks were made public.
Others pointed out that Mayor Pete was pandering, projecting, or both. South Bend is a high-crime city, and Buttigieg has been taking heat from African-American residents over their treatment by the police. Nationally, his African-American support is below the margin of error, with the majority of black Democrats currently favoring former vice-president Joe Biden.
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In predominantly white Iowa and New Hampshire, however, Buttigieg has recently shot ahead of Biden – as well as Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), though he is still trailing all of them in nationwide poll averages.
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