2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg appears on the AM Joy show – 2/2/2020. Screen grab via MSNBC.
If there’s one thing that Joy Reid’s show never lacks it’s unintentionally entertaining segments involving politicians and liberal guests who either politely go along with her unhinged rants or who join in on the “fun” themselves with their own equally bizarre takes on the various hot button issues of the day.
2020 Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg mostly fit into the former category during his Sunday appearance on Reid’s “AM Joy” program on MSNBC, as demonstrated by his reaction to a wacky remark she made about a recent tweet of his that appeared to momentarily stun him in front of a live audience.
Towards the end of the interview, Reid brought up a tweet posted to the former South Bend, Indiana mayor’s Twitter account last week in which Buttigieg suggested that someone shaped by the “American Heartland” was better equipped to serve America than DC politicians:
In the face of unprecedented challenges, we need a president whose vision was shaped by the American Heartland rather than the ineffective Washington politics we’ve come to know and expect.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 29, 2020
Seems fairly harmless, right? Wrong, according to some prominent liberal commentators:
It is a dog whistle. And maybe Mayor Pete isn’t aware of that. There is nothing more virtuous about a vision honed in the Heartland. Again—he should sit with his staffers of color and have them explain this to him. (And yes, I’m tired of politicians pandering.) https://t.co/7GhGhlNzi6
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) January 30, 2020
I was not shaped by the American Heartland. I was born and raised in California, a state of nearly 40 million people. Thus, I am not a real American. I am a Replicant, a son of Pakistani immigrants. I drink elitist coffee because it is not from a coffee shop in the Rust Belt.
— Wajahat "Social Distance Yourself" Ali (@WajahatAli) January 30, 2020
Can we quit with the games!
We ALL know that when politicians conjure up Midwestern values,or exalt the “heartland,” they aren’t talking about downtown Chicago,Milwaukee or St. Louis!
It’s a DOG WHISTLE & we ALL know what it means! We ALL do!
Can anyone speak truth anymore?
— Pam Keith (@PamKeithFL) January 30, 2020
During her segment, Joy Reid explained:
“I got a lot of texts on that tweet, not positive,” Reid said. “Heartland, that sounds like a lot of people like a dog whistle for white voters.”
Buttigieg was clearly taken aback by the question and seemed to flinch before responding.
Reid then asked, “When you say heartland, who do you mean?”
“I’m talking about a diverse heartland like where I grew up. I’m from a city in the middle of the Midwest that is about 45 percent non-white and reflects America in so many ways,” Buttigieg responded. “Part of what I’m trying to do is make sure that we recover some of these ideas.”
Watch the exchange below:
Reid also made sure to tweet out Buttigieg’s answer, presumably so the people who took offense to it would see it:
.@PeteButtigieg: I am talking about a diverse heartland like where I grew up. I'm from a city in the middle of the Midwest that is about 45% non-white. It reflects America in so many ways. Part of what I am trying to do is make sure we recover some of these ideas. #AMJoy pic.twitter.com/aFA3vHgvwy
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) February 2, 2020
So the “American Heartland” is now a racist dog whistle? Wowsers. You learn something new everyday, I guess. SMH.
Rachel Campos-Duffy’s rebuke of the whole idea was right on the money:
Saying “Heartland” is a racist dog whistle? 🙄Your obsession with race is boring, & self serving. If you ever left your elitist NYC bubble, you’d know minorities live in the heartland too. It’s not about race, it’s a way of life/set of values. https://t.co/DTsnKX0Rcc
— Rachel Campos-Duffy (@RCamposDuffy) January 31, 2020
Indeed. Nothing shows how out of touch liberals are with average American voters quite like assuming that a) the “heartland” consists only of white folks and b) it’s about color and not a values system.