Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg nodded in agreement with a leftist pastor who said Mexican illegal immigrants are "coming back to land we stole."
The Rev. William Barber hosted Buttigieg at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where a Q&A session followed Sunday services, the Associated Press said.
Buttigieg has been battling a dearth of support among black voters. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed Buttigieg with less than 1 percent of support among black voters in South Carolina, an early primary state, compared to robust black support for former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
So Buttigieg turned to Barber, who's also a civil rights activist.
What was said?
“Let me ask you a couple quick rapid-fire [questions]," Barber began. “Do you think we need to also stop allowing forces to demonize 'people who are trying to get their immigration status,' and we start lifting up all the ways they benefit this country? The money in Social Security, the taxes they pay—"
“Yeah, I mean the uncomfortable reality is that undocumented folks are, in many ways — like Social Security — subsidizing everybody else," Buttigieg claimed.
“And we need to talk about that," Barber noted before saying, "We call people 'illegal aliens' and all these things that are not human and certainly not Christian. Why can't we just own in America that some of the people that are trying to come from Mexico here are coming back to land we stole?"
With that, Buttigieg sat up in his seat, made an expression as if he was given a shot of truth, then nodded his head as the audience applauded.
Image source: Twitter video screenshot
"And the reason we took the land is because people wanted to keep their slaves?" Barber added. "I mean, we have to have some historical clarity around these issues."
Here's the clip:
Barber also tried to keep at bay the issue of Buttigieg being gay as a reason for his trouble connecting with black voters, who trend more socially conservative, the AP said.
Indeed, the pastor dismissed what he called the "false narrative" of division between black and LGBTQ voters and said after the service that any portrayal of tension between the two groups is "not factual," the outlet added.
The New York Times also said Buttigieg boasts only six endorsements from black or Hispanic elected officials while Biden has 154, Sen. Kamala Harris has 93, Sen. Bernie Sanders has 91, Sen. Cory Booker has 50, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren has 43.
(H/T: The Daily Wire)