Democrat Debate Turns Into Beatdown as Iowa Winner Gets Blindsided By Racial Record 02/10/2020 Source: AAN by: AAN Staff
After a surprising win in Iowa and a surging performance that could deliver him New Hampshire, South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg strutted into Friday’s Democrat presidential debate expecting a victory lap.
He was instead treated to a brutal beatdown that could destroy his chances in largely black South Carolina and a Super Tuesday marathon of largely black Southern states.
Buttigieg, who has never done well with black voters, was asked why arrest rates for South Bend's black residents for marijuana offenses were not only higher than that of white residents for the same crime but why the disparity grew worse under his leadership.
He initially tried to deny the fact, then tried to confuse viewers by pointing out South Bend’s arrest rates were lower than the nation’s.
Debate moderator and ABC News Live anchor Linsey Davis was having none of it, and called out Buttigieg for lying.
“… Davis pressed on and said there was, in fact, an increase. Davis said when Buttigieg took office in 2012, the numbers had increased and were still up in 2018, the most recent year the number was recorded,” ABC News reports. “The racial disparity in South Bend regarding marijuana arrests was higher than the rest of Indiana and higher than the rest of the nation, according to Davis.”
Buttigieg then tried diverting the subject away from the fact he made the racial disparity even worse, claiming he was only arresting more blacks because he was trying to stop crimes against blacks.
“…one of the strategies that our community adopted was to target when there were cases where there was gun violence and gang violence, which was slaughtering so many in our community, burying teenagers, disproportionately black teenagers, we adopted a strategy that said that drug enforcement would be targeted in cases where there was a connection to the most violent group or gang connected to a murder,” he said.
That’s when other Democrats pounced.
Davis then asked Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren if she felt Buttigieg answered the question.
“No,” Warren snapped, as the audience applauded.
Tech millionaire Andrew Yang and billionaire Tom Steyer seized the opening to talk about their own proposals for black voters, further cutting into any hopes Buttigieg could pick up black voters.
Coming off a win in Iowa, needing a big performance in New Hampshire and about to face black voters in South Carolina, this was the last thing Buttigieg needs, and it throws the Democrat race into even more chaos.