In October 2019, former President Barack Obama reportedly told a group of wealthy black donors that former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg didn’t stand a chance to win the presidency because “he’s gay” and “short.”
Details of the New York City fundraising event at which Obama allegedly made the controversial remarks are spelled out in a new book about the 2020 presidential election called, “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency,” co-authored by The Hill’s Amie Parnes and NBC’s Jonathan Allen.
In the book, Parnes and Allen recall how, during the confab, Obama surprisingly went to bat for Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), essentially ignoring other front-runners in the contest, according to an excerpt from the book provided to The Hill. At that time, the race for the Democratic nomination had been narrowed to four candidates: Biden, Buttigieg, Warren, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
While making almost no mention of eventual President Joe Biden, Obama spent much of his time attempting to assuage the corporate donors’ objections to the progressive Massachusetts senator, leading one donor to recall, “It was a 90 percent Warren sermon.”
However, in the same meeting, Obama did allegedly make space to take a few pot shots at Buttigieg, who now serves in the Biden administration as Transportation Secretary, taking issue with the candidate’s age, sexual orientation, and height. Here’s the relevant portion of the excerpt:
When he was asked to return to the original question on his advice, Obama said he liked Buttigieg, a rising talent who’d worked on his own campaign. But despite his affinity for the South Bend mayor, he rattled off a list of reasons why Buttigieg couldn’t win.
“He’s thirty- eight,” Obama said, pausing for dramatic effect, “but he looks thirty.” The audience laughed. Obama was on a roll, using the tone of light ridicule he some-times pointed at himself — ” big ears” and “a funny name,” he’d said so many times before. Now, it was directed at Buttigieg. “He’s the mayor of a small town,” the former president continued. “He’s gay,” Obama said, “and he’s short.” More laughter.
Only months earlier, Buttigieg had sat in Obama’s postpresidential office in Washington seeking counsel on how to maintain equanimity in the face of homophobia on the campaign trail. Now, behind his back, Obama was riffing on him to some of the wealthiest Black men in America at a time when Buttigieg had been dubbed “Mayo Pete” by critics who believed he couldn’t connect with African American voters.
That Obama, a hero of progressive left, would make such insensitive remarks about Buttigieg behind his back is certainly noteworthy.
TheBlaze reached out to the former president’s press office, but did not receive a reply in time for publication.