Things That Matter

Pete Buttigieg Has A Major Problem Courting Latino Voters And Keeps Making It Worse

Pete Buttigieg has a major problem on his hands. The relatively unknown mayor of South Bend, Indiana has made a splash on the national political scene in recent weeks but that has come at the cost of alienating one major demographic group: Latinos. 

While it’s been well documented about his struggles to connect with voters of color, specifically Black voters, Latino outreach from his campaign has largely been non-existent. Buttigieg is polling well when it comes to white voters, 42 percent, but things drop off drastically when it comes to Latinos as he has drawn a meager 5 percent in a recent Morning Consult poll.

This is important to note considering Latinos are on track to be the second-largest voting demographic in the 2020 election, 32 million are expected to be eligible to vote. So how does Buttigieg expect to connect with other voters that aren’t white? This should be the big question that his campaign team should be discussing if there is any chance of winning primaries in Nevada and in California, two largely Latino states. 

Buttigieg struggling to connect with Latino voters is an issue that should be receiving attention if he expects to win the Democratic nomination. 

Buttigieg’s struggles with Latino voters can be rooted back to some problematic instances. Recently, a 2011 TV interview clip with Buttigieg, then a candidate for the South Bend mayor, resurfaced on social media. In the video, Buttigieg says “a lot of kids” from “low income, minority neighborhoods” did not personally know a role model “who testifies to the value of education.” 

The clip ignited a firestorm of criticism on social media including having “Pete Buttigieg is a Lying MF” to trend on Twitter. Estuardo Rodriguez, a co-founder of The Raben Group public affairs firm, told Newsweek that this mishap is a perfect example of that disconnect that the mayor has with minority communities. 

 “This video goes to the root of why there may be a lack of interest in Mayor Pete from Black and Latino voters. His remarks in the video oversimplify the challenges some communities face,” Rodriguez said. 

Back in June, Buttigieg found himself is another heated moment when he visited an immigrant detention facility for children. He was met with protesters who shouted at him because he didn’t bother to climb ladders erected by the facility’s fence in order to see the children detained on the other side. Buttigieg was notably the only Democratic candidate that day that visited the facility who didn’t climb the ladder. 

When it comes to outreach, Buttigieg has also missed the mark with Latinos. He spent the majority of his time during his California campaign stop back in May at fundraisers rather than talking with Latino activists at the state’s Democratic Party’s convention.

“I could tell you some things that I know about him, but I don’t know what he’s saying he’ll do as president,” Miguel Cordova, who was at the California convention, told Buzzfeed. “It’s so easy for some people to jump in the race and all the sudden be considered a top contender, while someone like [Julian] Castro has been doing stuff and it’s like he’s not even polling as well [as Buttigieg].”

Buttigieg’s campaign is banking on winning primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire and use that energy to carry him forward. However, it may not be that easy, especially if he wants to win the Latino vote along the way. 

Josh Ulibarri, a Democratic pollster who has focused primarily on Latino voters, says that the reason there is a certain “disconnect “when it comes to Latinos and Buttigieg is simply a lack of familiarity. Compared to other candidates who are polling well with Latinos, like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, Ulibarri says that Buttigieg hasn’t connected with them mainly due to being unaware of what he stands for policy-wise.

“Him being stuck in the single digits is the big evidence here and for Latinos so far, it’s been all mostly Bernie and Biden,” Ulibarri said. “They have a lot of name recognition as they’ve known both candidates for years now. Pete is new and is a relative unknown to many Latinos when it comes to issues and familiarity. That matters.”

Buttigieg has acknowledged where he’s fallen short when it comes to outreach with communities of color and has vowed to improve on that. But the question of when and how is what concerns some voters that have seen Democratic candidates bank on Latino and Black votes later in the election cycle, instead of from the start. This is an issue that Julian Castro raised last month when discussing why some of the first primary elections are held in mostly white states like Iowa and New Hampshire. 

“It’s frustrating that this party has banked on the Latino vote instead on working for it all year,” Ulibarri said. “Voters say if he’s gonna come to our people, he’s coming too late in the election cycle once again.”

Adding insult to injury to Latino voters, Buttigieg recently accepted a donation to his campaign from McKinsey and Company.

Credit: @DJJudd / Twitter

McKinsey and Company, a management organization that does business with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), recently announced a plan to cut funding for food and supervision. The decision on the funding is putting detainees at risk and Buttigieg has received $55,000 in donations from McKinsey and Company alums. When asked if he would return the donations, which some have called for, Buttigieg avoided the question leaving some thinking he is okay with the support of the organization he once worked for.

While there has been some outreach, Mayor Pete has a long way to go to make himself a serious contender for Latinos in the 2020 election cycle.

Buttigieg isn’t going to win Latino voters over with his centrist policies or his young fresh voice in the Democratic party, it’s going to have to be through getting to know him. Whether he gets that opportunity is still unknown but he understands the tall task ahead.  

“We’ve got to reach out in communities that haven’t had a chance to get to know me,” Buttigieg during an MSNBC town hall forum back in June. “If you are neither already famous with a long track record in national politics, nor yourself from a community of color, then, of course, it’s going to take longer for people to come to know and trust you.”

His campaign manager, Mike Schmuhl, told Politico that the campaign needs to “level up and expand” its outreach when it comes to Latinos.  He expects that the campaign will air bilingual ads in Nevada, the first primary after Iowa and New Hampshire, in “the very near future”. That will be followed by a “holistic” policy proposal that will be centered on Latinos in the next month.

“We will continue to ramp up our investments — that’s in paid media, in people on the ground, in Pete’s time in the states,” Schmuhl said. “It’s go time, right now.”

Whether it’s name recognition, policy and a questionable track record with minorities, Buttigieg has his work cut out for him, there’s no doubt about it. The question now is if it’s too late. 

“It’s a late start and he if doesn’t have any backing it may not work,” Ulibarri said. “Biden and Sanders have been active from the start and he’ll have some groundwork to make up. Pete hasn’t been here for too long and quite frankly, it shows.”

READ: Pete Buttigieg Faces Backlash After 2011 Video Claiming Minority Children Don’t Know Anyone Who ‘Values Education’ Resurfaces

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Chip Somodevilla / Gettycc

After weeks of speculation and anticipation, presidential candidate Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he has officially picked his running mate.

In a history-making announcement, Biden revealed that he had tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his VP Pick.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden announced in a tweet.

On Wednesday, Biden held his first campaign event alongside running mate Kamala Harris in Delaware.

During their speeches, the two candidates wore masks and kept their distance in keeping with COVID-19 standards.

Speaking about his VP pick, Biden described Harris as coming from an “America’s story.” Biden described Harris as “a child of immigrants” who “knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian-American in the United States of America,” he explained. “And this morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls that feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities, but today — today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as president and vice presidents.”

In a speech of her own, Harris emphasized the importance of family and urged citizens to vote.  “We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be,” she said. “Joe likes to say that character is on the ballot. And it’s true,” she explained. “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and certainly vice president will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”

Harris’s nomination makes her the first Black and first Indian-American woman on either major party’s presidential ticket.

Harris is a former prosecutor from California who challenged Biden in her own presidential bid last year. Her nomination makes her the fourth woman to appear on a major presidential ballot. Before her, Geraldine Ferraro ran as a Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin ran as a vice presidential nominee, later in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic presidential nominee.

Biden’s choice was one that has long been in the works. In March of this year, he revealed that he would make a point to have a woman as his running mate and in July he announced that he had narrowed his picks down to four Black women.

Kamala Harris was elected to Congress in 2016.

This has been Harris’ first term as a senator. Before, she served as the California attorney general. During her time as AG, Harris formed a lasting friendship with Biden’s late son Beau who was attorney general at the time in Delaware. Writing about Beau’s death, in her memoir The Truths We Hold, Harris recalled that “there were periods when I was taking the heat when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” she wrote in her memoir. “We had each other’s backs.”

Biden’s son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer. Harris attended his funeral.

During his announcement, Biden mentioned Harris’ friendship with his son.

“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden tweeted. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

So far, it seems there are quite a bit of Harris x Biden supporters.

Fans were quick to give their support and applaud her candidacy.

In a tweet acknowledging her nomination, Harris wrote “@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”

Here’s to 2020 y’all. Get ready to make history.

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Ana Navarro Is Ready To Support Joe Biden And His VP Pick Because Trump Is Still Worse

Things That Matter

Ana Navarro Is Ready To Support Joe Biden And His VP Pick Because Trump Is Still Worse

John Sciulli / Getty Images for Politicon

Ana Navarro is a Republican who is appalled at the Trump administration. Navarro has not held back in calling out the Trump administration when its decisions have hurt immigrants for no reason. Now, she is revved up for Joe Biden to save the nation from four more years of a Trump administration.

Ana Navarro is gearing up to take down President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Navarro first became outspoken against President Trump during the contentious 2016 campaign. She spoke out against his rhetoric that seeded hate in the American public against Latino people. The well-known Republican political pundit voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 in an attempt to save the nation from President Trump.

“It still hurts my heart every time I think of him coming down the escalators and calling Mexicans rapists and criminals,” she told NBC News.

Navarro is known for her unapologetic and no-nonsense approach to political commentary on Twitter.

Navarro is not one to mince words. The political pundit shared her betrayal by the Republican Party because of Trump. In a 2016 op-ed, Navarro spoke out about her disgust against the two political parties, she tried her best to wait it out so that Trump could lose steam. However, she was forced to vote for Hillary Clinton because it was a vote against President Trump.

“I voted against Donald Trump because I am an immigrant. Trump has spent this campaign focusing on the very bad things done by a very small group of very bad immigrants. He has portrayed immigrants as criminals, rapists, and murderers,” Navarro wrote in her piece. “He does not talk about the contributions immigrants have made to America. He does not talk about immigrants who have made this a better and stronger country. He does not talk about the thousands and thousands of immigrant names that fill the Vietnam Wall in Washington or that are carved on so many headstones in every US military cemetery around the world.”

Four years later, Navarro is continuing her charge to get rid of President Trump.

Joe Biden is expected to make his announcement this week about his vice-president pick. There is a lot of talk that the choice is between Senator Kamala Harris and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice. The two Black women are poised to become vice presidents and the nation is waiting for a decision.

With Biden’s VP pick drawing near, Navarro is calling on people to stand up for their values and not fall for Trump’s tricks.

Calling on moments from his past, Navarro is calling on people to not fall for Trump’s racist rhetoric. Navarro is not someone to mess around and speaks her mind on Twitter. As the election gears up, Navarro’s Twitter page will fill with more and more takes on the current administration and their future plans.

Stay tuned as 2020 election coverage grows.

READ: Joe Biden Campaign Taps César Chavez’s Granddaughter To Run Latino Outreach

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