Buttigieg to attend MLK Day event in South Carolina after facing criticism

Buttigieg to attend MLK Day event in South Carolina after facing criticism
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Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration Overnight Defense: Woodward book causes new firestorm | Book says Trump lashed out at generals, told Woodward about secret weapons system | US withdrawing thousands of troops from Iraq A socially and environmentally just way to fight climate change MORE will attend an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day event hosted by the NAACP in South Carolina after facing backlash for his decision to skip it. 

Buttigieg had originally been slated to attend an event in his hometown of South Bend, Ind., where he served as mayor, but announced late Saturday that he would also attend South Carolina’s King Day at the Dome rally. 

“The South Bend community has always been at the heart of Pete’s campaign for president, which is why he planned to attend an MLK event there Monday. But he also wants to make clear his commitment to earning the support and trust of every voter in South Carolina, including those of the African-American community who consistently serve as the base of our party,” Buttigieg’s South Carolina communications director said in a statement. 

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“Pete looks forward to being with the citizens and leaders of Columbia to commemorate the 20th anniversary of King Day at the Dome,” the communications director added.

Buttigieg was reportedly not on the list of presidential candidates slated to attend the event when it was released. 

Former South Carolina Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) called it “disrespectful” for candidates to miss the event but did not call out Buttigieg or others by name. 

“I’m putting this out there. Candidates skipping King Day at the Dome is disrespectful AF. You don’t miss an Iowa steak fry,” he tweeted Friday. 

“Look, your not just speaking to black folk in SC you’re speaking to black folks throughout the South. I’m disappointed. It’s like you don’t care,” he added.

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Candidates scheduled to attend the march and rally at the South Carolina Statehouse include former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response Biden tells CNN town hall that he has benefited from white privilege MORE, Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon No new taxes for the ultra rich — fix bad tax policy instead MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (I-Vt.), and Tom SteyerTom SteyerTV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month Inslee calls Biden climate plan 'perfect for the moment' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration finalizes plan to open up Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling | California finalizes fuel efficiency deal with five automakers, undercutting Trump | Democrats use vulnerable GOP senators to get rare win on environment MORE, according to The Associated Press

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardRepublicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Gabbard says she 'was not invited to participate in any way' in Democratic convention MORE's (D-Hawaii) and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickRalph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden MORE's (D) campaigns also said they plan to attend, according to the AP.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharEPA delivers win for ethanol industry angered by waivers to refiners It's time for newspapers to stop endorsing presidential candidates Biden marks anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, knocks Trump and McConnell MORE’s (D-Minn.) communications director, Tim Hogan, tweeted that the senator will be attending a prayer service Monday in South Carolina as well as the Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum the same day. 

“Unlike some of the candidates she has an early speaking time in Iowa and was trying to change it so she could do both,” Hogan said. 

Buttigieg’s support in South Carolina has not been as strong as it has been in several other early nominating states. He has struggled to build support among African American voters, a key voting bloc of the state's Democrats. 

A Fox News poll of South Carolina voters released earlier this month found Buttigieg at a distant fifth place in the race, with 4 percent support. Biden led the field with 36 percent support, followed by Steyer at 15 percent, Sanders at 14 percent and Warren at 10 percent. The same survey found Klobuchar polling below 2 percent. 

The South Carolina primary will take place on Feb. 29. It’s the last primary before the Super Tuesday states will vote on March 3.