COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg believes there is nothing stopping South Carolina from turning blue in 2020.
Following Former Vice President Biden’s remarks that he could win Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina against President Trump, Buttigieg agreed.
"Absolutely, I come from a very conservative, red state. And it went Democratic once in the past 50 years. And it wasn’t for one of the candidates who would’ve been considered the easiest sell in conservative territory. It wasn’t for Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, or John Kerry, it was for Barack Obama,” said the mayor. “Even traditionally red states can surprise you. I think that every state is on the table and there is no reason to believe that it is written in stone that South Carolina must vote Republican all the time.”
While he said he felt confident about the team he is building in South Carolina and his reception at Saturday’s Planned Parenthood Forum in Columbia, Buttigieg was one of a couple of presidential hopefuls to miss one of the biggest events of the weekend - Rep. James Clyburn’s “World Famous Fish Fry,” an event that featured 21 of the 23 Democratic candidates for president on one stage. Mayor Pete skipped the event to attend a march in his hometown protesting a recent officer-involved shooting. Buttigieg said he wanted to attend but needed to prioritize his obligations as mayor.
"People were really understanding and I appreciated that, and hopefully there will be other opportunities to get to know some of the folks that were there last night,” he said.
Buttigieg also said issues like tensions between the African-American community and law enforcement affecting his own community is happening across the country. He said there is a nationwide “epidemic of unarmed black men being shot” and believes changes at the federal level will be crucial to resolving these divides.
When asked about other pressing issues to South Carolina voters, like the impact of the teacher rally in May, Mayor Pete applauded local efforts.
"The way teachers have stepped up here in South Carolina has had ripples across the country, it's a powerful thing," said Buttigieg.
WIS reaches our to the top five polling candidates in recent matchups. In addition to working with any other campaigns who made requests for interviews.
However, the Executive Director for the South Carolina Republican Party responded to Mayor Pete’s comments by saying he “wouldn’t even win Indiana.”