Pete Buttigieg 'mindful' white male privilege contributes to campaign success: 'The View' discusses

Buttigieg said "it's harder for candidates of color or female candidates."

April 30, 2019, 3:45 PM

After presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg reflected on the racial and gender advantages he's had during his 2020 campaign run on "The Daily Show" Monday, co-hosts of "The View" express their thoughts.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor has risen in popularity since announcing his 2020 run amid an overcrowded Democratic field. After having lunch with Rev. Al Sharpton in New York City on Monday, he appeared on "The Daily Show" to speak with host Trevor Noah about the amount of media coverage he's received and whether it's because he's a white man.

"I’d like to believe it’s my qualities and my message, but I have been reflecting on this because one of the things about privilege -- especially things like white privilege or male privilege -- is that you don't think about it much," Buttigieg told Noah. "It’s being in an out-group where you are constantly reminded of it. It’s not when you’re in a majority or privileged group."

"I try to check myself and make sure I understand the factors that help explain why things are going well," he continued. "I do think that there's a media environment that kind of pushes people into lanes whether they comfortably fit there or not. It's simply harder for candidates of color or female candidates, and I'm very mindful of that."

PHOTO: "The View" co-hosts discuss presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's comments on how white privilege has contributed to the success of his 2020 campaign on April 30, 2019.
"The View" co-hosts discuss presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's comments on how white privilege has contributed to the success of his 2020 campaign on April 30, 2019.
Nicolette Cain/ABC News

On Tuesday morning, "The View" co-hosts gave feedback to Buttigieg's answer.

"Acknowledging it is a huge step," Joy Behar said of the presidential candidate's response. "To have that self-awareness that you're privileged just because of the color of your skin...that's a good thing."

Abby Huntsman -- who has often mentioned her support for Buttigieg -- thought he responded well by recognizing his advantages over other candidates, but pointed out that he didn't apologize for them.

"It's important to be able to listen, and to be able to live in reality and understand where you came from, but not be sorry about the family you were born into or the person that you are."

Sunny Hostin said it was "great that he can empathize" with others through his response.

"I think he's sort of the anthesis of what we see in the White House because he has empathy, he can seemingly walk in other people's shoes, and to just acknowledge that there are other candidates that aren't getting the coverage he is getting," Hostin said.

While agreeing with her other co-hosts, Meghan McCain reminded everyone that "Mayor Pete couldn't get legally married until a few years ago. So is being gay not considered an oppressed class anymore?"

"I love the fact that he's married to a man is not something we're talking about, but I also think it's something we shouldn't ignore," McCain continued. "It's OK to say there's also some privileges he didn't have until recently."

Instead of commenting on Buttigieg's response to his privileges, Whoopi Goldberg used her time to comment on the setbacks people experience -- particularly women.

"We are all hindered in some way. No one actually gets off. White women, you know, you've had some privilege, but not a whole bunch, or y'all would be much further ahead," Goldberg said. "Black women, same thing. Women have had a tough time."

"I don't know anyone who hasn't questioned where they're going or how to get there, and white privilege and privilege is a great big phrase," she continued. "We're all just suffering the same stuff."

Goldberg went on to say that instead of saying what someone doesn't have, move forward by saying, "This is a man who's going to change the world."

"Life is changing," Goldberg said. "It's changing whether you're on board or not. The world is changing and we have to be on board with it because our children will leave us behind if we're dragging them down."

On Monday morning, "The View" questioned if the media's 2020 election coverage of female and male candidates was fair.

Every episode of ABC's award-winning talk show "The View" is now available as a podcast! Listen and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher or the ABC News app.

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