Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro attacked South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s unpopularity among African American voters while speaking at Nevada State Democrats’ First in the Nation event.
On Sunday, Castro said Buttigieg has “a real problem with black voters” because of his track record as mayor of South Bend.
“I believe that Mayor Buttigieg has a real problem with black voters because of his track record as mayor of South Bend. It’s a bad track record with black voters that was reflected in the policies that he put in place.”
Watch his comments below:
Julián Castro: "I believe that Mayor Buttigieg has a real problem with black voters because of his track record as mayor of South Bend. It's a bad track record with black voters that was reflected in the policies that he put in place." pic.twitter.com/z4cet4wCll— The Hill (@thehill) November 18, 2019
Castro continued to raise concerns about the level of excitement for Buttigieg among minority voters.
“My concern is, are we really going to risk putting somebody at the top of the ticket who is not going to excite a big part of our base? To me, that’s playing into Donald Trump’s hands in 2020 because he won in 2016 based on the turnout of African Americans falling, particularly when it comes to communities like Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia that are in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania.”
His comments come as Buttigieg’s poll numbers have soared in Iowa in the past week. A recent Des Moines Register/CNN poll found that Buttigieg was in the first place, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) nine points behind in second place.
Castro touted his record as HUD secretary and his tenure as the mayor of San Antonio saying, his track record is stronger than Buttigieg’s.
“When I was HUD Secretary, I had the opportunity to visit and work with a hundred different local communities — big cities and small towns. And I was mayor of a city that was 14 times larger than South Bend, Indiana. I’ve seen a lot when it comes to urban policy, and not only that, have a stronger track record not only with the black community in San Antonio versus Mayor Buttigieg’s record with the black community in South Bend, I actually have a record of accomplishment of things that I can point to from the time that I was mayor and HUD secretary, unlike Mayor Buttigieg that you never hear what did he actually do in office when he was there.”
Julián Castro: "I have a stronger track record not only with the black community in San Antonio versus Mayor Buttigieg's record with the black community in South Bend — I actually have a record of accomplishment." pic.twitter.com/5MgHshMYg7— The Hill (@thehill) November 18, 2019
He added, “This is nothing personal against Mayor Buttigieg, but this is about vetting somebody to become president of the United States. I just don’t think the argument’s there for Mayor Buttigieg.”
In July, Buttigieg released his “Douglass Plan,” which he describes as “a comprehensive investment in the empowerment of black America.” The plan tackles health care, voting reforms, and education, along with discrimination in the criminal justice system.
However, Buttigieg’s campaign came under fire on Monday for using a stock photo of a Kenyan woman that was used as an advertisement for the plan. The campaign has since apologized and removed the picture from the website.