At Goldsboro church, Buttigieg talks poverty, policy change

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — A presidential candidate made a stop in the Triangle area Sunday.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg spent several hours at a Goldsboro church worshiping and answering questions about policy and poverty.

Reverend Dr. William Barber says they’re not endorsing anyone, but welcomed all 2020 candidates for larger discussions with the Poor People’s Campaign.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is openly gay.

“Somebody sent me this question, ‘What are you going to say to the mayor about being gay?'” said Barber. “I just got on a plane and flew four hours from Arizona to here. I didn’t ask the pilot if he was gay, but I did ask him if he could fly the plane.”

After worship, Buttigieg took questions on topics ranging from healthcare to military spending. much of it had a focus on poverty.

“The climate of fear makes us all worse off,” said Buttigieg.

He talked about several goals, like raising the minimum wage, making healthcare accessible for all and cutting mass incarceration in half.

“There should not be for-profit private prisons in this country. We’ll just be better off when we don’t have them,” said Buttigieg.

Buttigieg’s been rising in recent polls but struggles to attract support from black voters.

“Certainly I have a responsibility as a candidate for office to reach out to black voters who may not yet feel like they know me and I think the more we do that outreach, the better that relationship will grow,” said Buttigieg.

Barber asked the conversation to not be about race, suggesting it divides Americans and takes away from what should be a shared focus: Creating a brighter future for everyone.  

“We’ve seen Americans pitted against each other in so many ways and I think what we have today and have in this effort is a moral call to unity, that is not only about politics, but that calls everybody politically active to pay attention to these issues,” said Buttigieg.

A spokesperson for the Trump Victory campaign released the following statement:

“Pete Buttigieg will need to do more than staged campaign stops to make amends with the African American community. Voters know his abysmal record as mayor on crime, housing, and the lack of diversity in his administration. Meanwhile, President Trump is delivering on his promises with record low unemployment for African Americans and major reforms to the criminal justice system.”

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