The South Bend mayor, who’s been surging in the polls, met with Al Sharpton Monday in New York City.
The two had lunch at Sylvia’s, a soul food institution in the city, as the White House hopeful looked for guidance on how to connect with black voters.
“The problem I have is some people find me, they come to my rally or event or fundraiser, but if I only talk to the people who come to me, it’s not going to be more diverse,” Buttigieg said, according to pool reports.
“I’ve talked a lot about generational change and generational politics, and one of the things I know I needed to do is to be in touch with every generation in the struggle for equality,” he added.
“I thought he was very much authentic,” civil rights leader and MSNBC host Sharpton told reporters. “He seemed firm in who he was and what he represented.”
Mayor Pete has been criticized for his record on race, including firing South Bend’s first black police chief.
But he appeared to have more admirers than detractors in Harlem, where a crowd could be seen through a window, snapping pictures and recording video of the 37-year-old politician.
Buttigieg dined on fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and collard greens in the restaurant.
However, there was an awkward moment when he asked Sharpton if it was acceptable to eat the fried chicken with his hands.
The answer would be yes.