Castro, the former San Antonio mayor who served as President Obama’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, attended the Warren County Democratic Party’s fall dinner and pointed out what he sees as clear liabilities with Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign, The Hill reported.
“Anyone who thinks this is a two-person race doesn’t know anything about the Black and Latino communities,” he said. Castro reportedly told a gaggle of reporters that the South Bend, Ind., mayor has a “bad track record with African Americans on the issues.”
Buttigieg, in an interview with CNN, called Castro’s claim false. He even offered to walk Castro around his city to see the progress there.
Castro’s reaction was in response to an interview where Buttigieg told journalist John Heilemann that he believed the primary is winnowing down to two people.
“It’s early to say, I’m not saying that it is a two-way. A world where we’re getting somewhere is where it’s coming down to the two of us,” he said.
Buttigieg was envisioning his survival along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s. He has since walked back the comment.
Buttigieg’s appeal to African-Americans has been a topic of conversation throughout the campaign. Buttigieg said in May that he was continuing outreach to the voters.
Buttigieg also has offered a broad policy agenda for African Americans and has been outspoken on the issue of race. He has also met in New York with the Rev. Al Sharpton and said Sharpton encouraged him “to engage with people who may not find their way to me, who I need to go out and find my way in front of.”
Buttigieg told CNN, “Look, our city has had a lot of challenges, but the black voters that know me best have returned me to office and supported me more the second time than the first.”
An after-hours email from Fox News to Buttigieg’s campaign was not immediately returned.
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