Buttigieg talks racial inequality at Chicago conference; builds voter support

NOW: Buttigieg talks racial inequality at Chicago conference; builds voter support


CHICAGO, Ill. – There are some questions about how Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will resonate with minority voters, especially as racial tensions continue in South Bend. 

But Buttigieg says voters just need to get to know him better. Some voters at the annual Rainbow PUSH Coalition Convention in Chicago Friday agreed.

"I think he did real well actually, to tell you the truth,” said Gus Parham from California after the mayor’s keynote speech.  “Verbally and how he presents himself and what he said his aim is, is conducive to what America needs and what my family would look at as important."

Parham says that includes things like empowering businesses in black communities to better education and job opportunities. 

For others it was this statement from Buttigieg’s speech: “It’s as if I'm being asked more about how to win than how to deserve to win."

That statement was in reference to questions about how Buttigieg will build support with African American voters nationwide in the wake of a deadly police shooting and vocal protests in South Bend.

"That was most most most insightful,” said Sandi Lynn, who lives in Chicago and attended the conference Tuesday. “That should be first on why you even elect to vote on a candidate."

Buttigieg says African American voters need more time to see him in action. Lynn says that’s true for her.

"I don't know him well enough,” she said. But as for today’s speech she said “he’s right on target with what needs to happen.”

Parham agreed. 

“I think if he goes along with what he’s saying now and maintain that and expand on that, gravitation will happen,” he said. 

Buttigieg says he plans to take everything he's learning in South Bend right now, and what he learned at the conference Tuesday, all forward with him as he continues on the campaign. 

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