They claim that there was a spike in violent crime during his two terms as their mayor, and how the African American community was largely ignored when it came to development. They also added that the only well-lit street is the street leading into Notre Dame University.
If he can't be trusted to run a city, how can he be trusted to run a whole country>
“If he’s the next president, I fear for our country. He couldn’t run our city. How can he run the United States?” said resident Michelle Burger, a 42-year-old mother. "Look at all the crime — he didn’t do anything about it. Look at our quality of life. If he becomes president, the United States will become one big South Bend — a giant sinkhole. We’ll be in a new depression.”
Another West Side resident, 62-year-old Cornish Miller said, “Buttigieg talked about all the improvements he made, but he hardly made a dent. Rating him 1 to 10, I’d give him a 2.”
“The West Side is the most neglected part of town. The street I live on is the only street around here that has lights. That’s because we’re a gateway to Notre Dame," Miller added.
Buttigieg’s young age — 38 — along with his Rust Belt childhood, elite education and moderate liberalism, have drawn comparisons with French President Emmanuel Macron, who was elected in 2017 at age 39.
On the stump, Buttigieg comes off as cool, calm and cerebral, with a deeper-than-expected voice, given his boyish appearance. He typically gives speeches wearing a white shirt and tie, with his sleeves rolled up.
But some in South Bend describe Buttigieg’s mayoralty as a nightmare during which FBI data show that violent crimes surged from 622 in 2012, his first year, to 1,088 in 2018, the latest for which statistics are available.
“We had a record number of homicides during his time as mayor, and it didn’t seem like he was feeling the people’s psychological, emotional and spiritual needs,” Rev. Sylvester Williams Jr. said."It seemed like he was focused on creating a progressive city, that he was above tending to those basic needs.”
One of Buttigieg’s fiercest critics, Councilman Henry Davis Jr., said Buttigieg was “inept” as mayor and “always had one foot out the door.”
He cited Buttigieg’s six-month deployment to Afghanistan in 2014 as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer, as well as his failed 2017 attempt to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
“And then he came back and takes off again and wants to be president of the United States,” Davis added, "So he really has never been here and committed to the growth and the [functionality] of this community. It’s always been a gateway to something that he believed was larger.”
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