Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegAirlines warn of 'catastrophic' crisis when new 5G service is deployed Buttigieg says parenthood 'lights a fire' The Memo: 2024 chatter reveals Democratic nervousness MORE said voting for President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE "at best means looking the other way on racism."
"Is it racist to vote for Trump?" CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperMcCaul says US withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened Russia on Ukraine Sunday shows - Voting rights legislation dominates Texas Republican: FBI probe into synagogue hostage taker spreads to London, Tel Aviv MORE asked the South Bend., Ind., mayor on Sunday.
"Well, at best, it means looking the other way on racism. But I think a lot of people are wondering what kind of deal even that is supposed to be," Buttigieg replied.
He stopped short of calling anyone who votes for Trump racist.
Buttigieg's comments come days after Trump told voters at a New Hampshire rally they "have no choice" but to vote for him in 2020.
"If you look at the numbers, basically, what he's saying is, all right, I want you to look the other way on the racism, tolerate the negativity, accept the instability of my administration, because I am going to deliver for you job growth almost as good as the Obama years," Buttigieg said.
"That's what his argument amounts to right now. And it's part of the reason why he's unpopular.”
Buttigieg has previously called Trump a white nationalist.