Nov 18, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg campaign apologizes for using stock photo of Kenyan woman

Pete Buttigieg
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign on Monday apologized and removed from its website a stock photo of a Kenyan woman that it used to promote the mayor's "Douglass Plan" to fight racial inequality in America, the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: Sean Savett, communications director for the Buttigieg campaign, said a contractor running the website chose the photo not knowing it had been captured in Kenya.

  • Savett said the use of stock photos "is standard practice across many campaigns" and that there was nothing indicating that the photo was taken in Kenya.
  • "We apologize for its use and for the confusion it created," Savett wrote on Twitter.
  • The Intercept's Ryan Grim said the woman in the photograph contacted him confused, asking: "What's the meaning of the message accompanied by the photo? Have no idea of what's happening."

The big picture: While Buttigieg has soared in recent Iowa polls, he has struggled to draw support from black voters and is hovering around 1% in South Carolina, an early voting state with a significant African American population. His primary moderate rival Joe Biden is polling the highest out of any candidate among black voters.

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