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Castro hits Buttigieg over 'bad track record with African Americans'

Castro hits Buttigieg over 'bad track record with African Americans'
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro took aim at South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote Biden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks MORE (D) over his record on racial issues on Sunday.

At a press gaggle at the Warren County Democratic Party's fall dinner, the former Obama administration official said that Buttigieg had a "bad track record with African Americans on the issues."

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"Just look at his track record as mayor," Castro added.

Castro's campaign confirmed the former Housing and Urban Development secretary's remarks when The Hill asked for comment, and pointed to remarks Castro made Saturday at the NAACP forum at Drake University in Des Moines in response to Buttigieg's assertion that the Democratic primary was essentially a two-person race between himself and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Philly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (D-Mass.).

“Anyone who thinks this is a two-person race doesn’t know anything about the Black and Latino communities," Castro said at the forum.

Buttigieg responded to Castro when prompted by CNN's Abby Phillip, telling her: "That's false. Look, our city has had a lot of challenges, but the black voters that know me best have returned me to office and supported me more the second time than the first."

"And I would be happy to walk him around South Bend and introduce him to folks if he'd like to learn how we've tackled these really tough issues," he added.

The South Bend mayor has failed to gain traction among Democratic voters of color, particularly black voters, and has faced criticism for his response to a police shooting of an unarmed black man in the city.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Sunday showed Buttigieg making gains but still trailing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE, Warren and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Progressives' majority delusions politically costly Sinema pushes back on criticism of her vote against minimum wage MORE (I-Vt.).

Updated at 12:46 a.m.