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“Buttigieg I like a lot,” De Niro said. “He’s got all the credentials – Rhodes Scholar, Afghanistan veteran – even though he’s young, and if he could get a chance it could be something special, I think.”

De Niro believes Buttigieg’s LGBT identity will help with minority support, despite the fact that the candidate does poorly with black Americans.

Will Buttigieg’s LGBT Identity Help with Black Voters?

“As a gay person, he’s someone who comes from a marginalized community, so people from other ethnic groups can identify with him, even if they’re not gay, because they know what it’s like,” De Niro said.

Buttigieg is currently polling at 0% among black voters in the key primary state of South Carolina.

“I think he’s the best for what we need now. I have friends who really like him a lot, as I do,” De Niro continued. “With Obama, he had the middle name ‘Hussein’ and a lot of things that people tried to use against him – including Trump with the whole stupid ‘birther’ thing – and he went right through it. It could happen with Buttigieg. And there’s Bloomberg.”

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‘His trouble with black voters runs deep’

But there’s a significant problem–black voters in Buttigieg’s hometown haven’t been happy with him. One Republican strategist emphasized Buttigieg’s built-in disadvantage with the black community.

“All the fundraising in the world cannot save the young politician from Indiana, and doing well in a state that more closely resembles Norway than the rest of the United States does not help his case,” wrote GOP strategist Shermichael Singleton at The Hill. “His trouble with black voters runs deep…”

“For many black voters, the calculation is simple,” Singleton continued. “If Buttigieg is poorly equipped to deal with matters of race in a place as small as South Bend, then he certainly is not capable of dealing with them across the entire United States.”

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