Presidential hopeful and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D.) said that supporting President Donald Trump means "at best" excusing racism during an appearance on CNN Sunday morning. The comment is a part of a series of statements Buttigieg has made accusing the Republican Party of enabling racism.
"You told me on the show two weeks ago that you believe President Trump is a white nationalist," CNN host Jake Tapper said. "Given that, do you think that it's a racist act to cast a vote for President Trump in 2020?"
"Well, at best it means look the other way on racism, but I think that a lot of people are wondering what kind of deal even that is supposed to be," Buttigieg said. "You look at what he said at that rally, ‘You've got no choice but to vote for me.'"
"If you look at the numbers 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 am going to deliver for you job growth almost as good as the Obama years," Buttigieg continued. "That's what his argument amounts to right now, and it's part of the reason why he's unpopular."
Buttigieg is currently struggling in the early primary states, especially among African-American voters. In Iowa, although he is polling in the top five, he has yet to reach double-digit support in polling despite an increased focus on the state .
He has also released a "Douglass Plan" to combat the effects of racism by focusing on issues like criminal justice reform, voting rights, and college tuition funding, but has failed to gain ground with African American voters. A Quinnipiac poll from the end of last month showed him with zero percent support among African-Americans.