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Joy Reid says Pete Buttigieg's use of American 'heartland' term is a 'dog whistle for white voters'

Because of course it is

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE

MSNBC's Joy Reid says that Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's references to America's "heartland" could be considered a dog whistle to white voters.

What are the details?

Buttigieg appeared on the cable outlet's "AM Joy" Monday in which Reid questioned him over a tweet in which the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor said that America deserves a president who was shaped by "heartland" values.

Reid admitted that she heard a lot of "not positive" remarks about Buttigieg's sentiments, and said that it sounds an awful lot "like a dog whistle for white voters."

"So I want to read you a tweet from you," she said. "'In the face of unprecedented challenges, we need a president whose vision was shaped by the American Heartland rather than the ineffective Washington politics we've come to know and expect.'"

Buttigieg shared the tweet last week.

Reid continued, "I got a lot of texts on that tweet. Not positive. From people saying, 'heartland'—that sounds to a lot of people like a dog whistle to white voters."

"When you say 'heartland,'" she continued, "who do you mean?"

Buttigieg, clearly taken aback by Reid's assertions, insisted that he simply means what he says when he refers to the heartland of America.

"I'm talking about a diverse heartland, like where I grew up," he responded. "I'm from a city, in the middle of the Midwest, that is about 45 percent non-white. That reflects America in so many ways."

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