Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg dismissed America as never being "as great as advertised" in South Carolina Monday.
Speaking to a crowd in Orangeburg as part of a swing through the important primary state, the young mayor of South Bend, Indiana challenged President Donald Trump's account of American history, and the promise of restoring America's grandeur.
"Communities like the one where I grew up, which is an industrial midwestern city, that is exactly the kind of place that our current president targeted with a message that we can find greatness by just stopping the clock and just turning it back," Buttigieg said.
The Army veteran and two term mayor warned that returning to the imagined heyday intrinsic to "Making American Great Again" would harm Americans.
He claimed that "the past that [Trump] is promising to return us to was never as great as advertised, especially for marginalized Americans."
Unemployment for black and hispanic Americans has reached historic lows since Trump took office, while critics accuse the president of rolling back racial policies and certain benefits for same sex couples.
Buttigieg, who is in a same sex partnership, faces what Politico described as a "black voter problem."
His remarks about America's overstated historical greatness came in Orangeburg, an overwhelmingly African American city. Despite the demographics, ninety percent of attendees at his Monday event were white.
Buttigieg admits he has fallen short in building minority support.
"I need help," he told reporters Monday.
"We're building a campaign staff team that’s gonna reflect the diversity of our party and our generation, but clearly we’ve got a long way to go before we can say the same about our support base," he explained. "In order to win and in order to deserve to win, my campaign needs to go above and beyond in reaching out to black voters."
Speaking onstage, Buttigieg was focused on the future.
"There's no going back anyway," he concluded.