The "Meet the Press" panel took direct aim at South Bend mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg Sunday morning, expressing serious doubts that Buttigieg can handle a larger constituency than what he already controls as mayor.
Buttigieg has been in South Bend most of the week, skipping out on a handful of political events in South Carolina and other early primary states in order to handle the fallout from a viral video that shows a white South Bend police officer shooting a black man brandishing a large knife. The video has ignited protests as well as a debate over whether the officer was really faced with a situation that required the use of deadly force.
On Friday, Buttigieg confronted a group of "Black Lives Matter" protesters to try to quell their concerns, but ended up exposing his own weaknesses. Buttigieg couldn't handle the crowd, read from a prepared statement he held in his hand, and found himself — a progressive — unexpectedly shouldering the blame for what protesters clearly considered a racial incident (though that has yet to be proven).
A video of the confrontation appeared online on Friday evening and shows Buttigieg struggling to handle around 150 protesters, especially after he rightfully admits that its not clear the officer involved in the shooting has a history of racist behavior, as some protesters have claimed.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg: “I do not have evidence that there has been discipline for racist behavior...”— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 22, 2019
Protester: “You running for president and you expect black people to vote for you?”
Buttigieg: “I’m not asking for your vote.”
Protester: “You ain’t gonna get it either.” pic.twitter.com/tK1Ys0Yvfc
An NBC panel rips Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg over his record in South Bend after a white cop just killed a black man— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 23, 2019
Chuck Todd notes that the South Bend police department has not become more diverse under Buttigieg, it’s become whiter pic.twitter.com/uy8tD7aVXM
It's remarkable how quickly a former liberal darling like Buttigieg can fall from grace.
Is mayor Pete done for?