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Mayor Pete Buttigieg butts in on McDonald's workers' minimum wage protest — then the protest turns on him

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Sometimes, mind your own business

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana. (Sam Wolfe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, can't seem to avoid awkward moments with black voters.

Monday while in South Carolina, the day before the primary debate, Mayor Pete found his way to a protest where McDonald's employees were calling for a higher minimum wage. Seeing an opportunity to endear himself to a demographic that has overwhelmingly rejected him (the protesters were mostly black, as is a majority of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina), Buttigieg joined in.

He grabbed a sign, began marching, and chanted along with the other protesters: "We work! We sweat! Put $15 on our checks!" A fine show of support for the hard-working people of South Carolina.

But some protesters took notice of an imposter in their midst — and began to confront him over allegedly not supporting a $15 minimum wage while he was mayor of South Bend.

Suddenly, a different chant emerged: "Pete can't be our president! Where was $15 in South Bend?"

Buttigieg addressed the protesters and spoke in support of a higher minimum wage, but quickly left the scene after his remarks without addressing questions from protesters about his record on the topic in Indiana.

According to the State, South Bend saw a minimum wage increase while Buttigieg was mayor, but it was far short of $15.

Buttigieg quickly left the rally after his remarks, as members of the Black Youth Project 100 shouted questions at him, saying Buttigieg hasn't always been for $15 an hour and has changed positions on the issue.

They also pointed to how wages for some South Bend city jobs are less than $15 an hour. In 2016, Buttigieg was able to get minimum wage for city employees raised to $10.10 an hour, but state law prevented local municipalities from instituting a higher mandated minimum wage for all businesses.

Buttigieg isn't winning South Carolina, anyway. The most recent poll in the state has him at 8 percent, while Biden seems to have a solid lead at 35 percent. And with black voters, who make up about 60 percent of South Carolina Democratic voters, Buttigieg hovers around 1 percent.

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