After a series of recent reports showing gay Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg struggling to woo conservative black voters nationally, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s campaign is now under fire for lying about the level of black support he has in the early voting state of South Carolina.
The controversy, according to The Intercept, is related to a policy proposed by Buttigieg called The Douglass Plan: A Comprehensive Investment in the Empowerment of Black America. It is touted as a plan that “dismantles old systems and structures that inhibit prosperity and builds new ones that will unlock the collective potential of Black America.”
When the plan was released by Buttigieg’s campaign this summer, they also held focus groups with undecided black voters in the state which concluded that his sexuality would be a barrier for him, according to a memo on the findings.
“Being gay was a barrier for these voters, particularly for the men who seemed deeply uncomfortable even discussing it. It was not necessarily a red line that they wouldn’t cross and many of the voters – particularly the older women – seemed genuinely intrigued by the Mayor after hearing more. But their preference is for his sexuality to not be front and center,” according to a key finding highlighted in the memo.
Shortly after, the Buttigieg campaign began promoting a list of some 400 South Carolinian supporters of his Douglass Plan including prominent black leaders such as Columbia City Councilwoman Tameika Devine; Rehoboth Baptist pastor and state Rep. Ivory Thigpen; and Johnnie Cordero, chair of the state party’s Black Caucus.
The three prominent community leaders say the way the campaign promoted their support for the plan made it appear as if they were endorsing Buttigieg.
“Clearly from the number of calls I received about my endorsement, I think the way they put it out there wasn’t clear, that it was an endorsement of the plan, and that may have been intentionally vague. I’m political, I know how that works,” Devine told The Intercept. “I do think they probably put it out there thinking people wouldn’t read the fine print or wouldn’t look at the details or even contact the people and say, ‘Hey, you’re endorsing Mayor Pete?’”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair