Pete Buttigieg Working to "Elevate" Diverse Voices Amid Lack of Support From Minority Voters

Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

"I think the next best thing is to show up, to listen, to learn and to elevate those voices," the Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Indiana, mayor said on Friday's 'Ellen' after acknowledging that he will never have the same experiences as black men and women.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg addressed his lack of support from minorities when he stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday.

"I think it's got to begin with humility. I will never have the experience of, for example, walking through a mall or down the street and feeling eyes on me, judging me and maybe thinking that I am dangerous just because of the color of my skin, the way black men experience," he said. "I will never have the experience of going into an emergency room and not being believed describing that I’m in pain, the way so many black women experience. I think it starts with acknowledging that and if I can’t know from experience what that’s like, then how can I make myself useful to those who have."

"I think the next best thing is to show up, to listen, to learn and to elevate those voices," he continued.

Buttigieg added that he plans to incorporate the voices of minorities throughout his campaign. "What we’re trying to do is make sure that those voices are elevated in my campaign as a way to demonstrate what it will be like in my presidency, too, precisely because I’m never going to be able to say that I get it, at least not from the perspective of personal experience," he said.

He then touched on the Douglass Plan, which is an idea his campaign has put forward that that deals with systemic racism in this country. The presidential hopeful added that the idea wasn't his. "I didn’t sit there and think it up. The reason I think it’s strong is because we ask black voices to build that plan, and the way I can make myself useful is to try to drive that plan through as president and continue to elevate those voices throughout," he said.

"So that’s the conversation I’m seeking to have with voters of color who have every reason to be skeptical of politicians, especially new figures who come along given the number of broken promises and the ways that that vote has been taken for granted again and again and again," he said. "The only way to earn it is to go out there and work for it."

Buttigieg later responded to Rush Limbaugh's comment that implied the politician isn't a real man because he is gay. "I guess he just has a different idea of what makes a man than I do," he responded.

"I'm not gonna take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh or anyone that supports Donald Trump," he continued. "When I was packing my bags for Afghanistan, Donald Trump was working on season seven of Celebrity Apprentice."

Buttigieg also opened up about his Democratic rivals.

He noted that Michael Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders are currently leading in the polls. "I respect both of them, but I'm really worried about our ability to defeat Donald Trump if those are our choices," he said. "If we have to choose between somebody who wants to burn things down in a way that I think a lot of Americans don’t identify with and somebody else who thinks he can just buy this with personal fortune as a billionaire."

"I don’t think either of those choices is going to make it possible for us to bring Americans together and defeat this president. That’s why I’m offering a different approach," he continued. "I think what’s going to work is inviting as many Americans as we can into this majority. We’re not going to agree on everything. That’s OK, but I think most of us can agree that we can do a lot better than the president we’ve got right now and that we have to change things in this country before it’s too late."

DeGeneres also asked Buttigieg a number of questions during a game of "Candidly Candid Candidates."

The host first asked which other Democratic candidate he would choose to be stuck on a deserted island with. Buttigieg chose Sanders and explained that they "would never run out of conversation."

He also shared that the strangest food item he ate on the campaign trail was a bacon ball BLT in Iowa and that the most rebellious thing he did as a teenager was choose to play the electric guitar instead of the piano.

Buttigieg also rated Colin Jost's impression of him on Saturday Night Live. "I give it a six and a half," he said. After sharing that he went to college with Jost, Buttigieg said that he "can just imagine some scenario where we're probably standing in line next to each other in the cafeteria and if you could've told us that he'd be playing me on SNL."