Rep. Marcia Fudge: Pete Buttigieg ‘Has a Black Problem’

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 20: Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks to the media during a grassroots fundraiser at the Wynwood Walls on May 20, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Buttigieg is one of more than 20 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president. (Photo by …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus says South Bend, IN, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has virtually no support from black voters in his bid for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination.

“Pete has a black problem. I don’t know of one black person out of Indiana that supports him,” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) told the Daily Beast. In another interview conducted by the media outlet, an unnamed “prominent black leader” said that when he pressed Buttigieg on which black South Bend activists support him, the mayor was unable to name anyone.

“He didn’t name anybody,” revealed the source. “If he’s got young black supporters, they do have names.”

Another unnamed respondent told the Daily Beast said it appears the mayor has not made much effort to court endorsements from the black community. “He left me with the impression that he had not thought about getting individuals to endorse him and that he would go back and do that,” said the leader.

“He has a test now,” a third black leader stated. “If he’s going to get anywhere with black people at home, he’s got to handle this test, and he can’t win the nomination if he can’t impress black voters, period.”

The remarks come as Buttigieg faces intense scrutiny back home over his handling of a recent police shooting of Eric Logan, a black man.

On Friday, the mayor was confronted by a protester while addressing the incident in which a white officer, Sgt. Ryan O’Neill, fatally shot Logan without wearing a body camera.

“You’re running for president and you want black people to vote for you?” the woman said angrily. “That’s not going to happen.”

“Ma’am, I’m not asking for your vote,” Buttigieg shot back.

Fudge told the Daily Beast that the 37-year-old’s response showed “arrogance” and “entitlement.”

“It was a painful but needed conversation,” Buttigieg said Monday of the criticisms he has received from South Bend’s black residents. “And I feel overwhelmed and heartened by the number of people — supporters and critics — who have reached out and made it clear over the past week that they want to join hands and face these problems together.”

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