South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg told Fox News Sunday night that his comments about rechristening events named after Thomas Jefferson were "a great example ... of how the media noise machine on the right wing takes things out of control."
"You would have thought I had proposed blowing up the Jefferson Memorial in D.C.," Buttigieg told moderator Chris Wallace during his Fox News town hall in Claremont, N.H.
On Friday, Buttigieg discussed the Indiana Democratic Party's decision to change the name of the traditional Jefferson-Jackson Dinner during a radio interview on "The Hugh Hewitt Show."
"I think it's the right thing to do," said Buttigieg, who added: "There's a lot, of course, to admire in his [Jefferson's] thinking and his philosophy, but then again if you plunge into his writings, especially the notes on the state of Virginia, you know that he knew slavery was wrong."
Buttigieg added that "we're finding in a million different ways that racism isn't some curiosity out of the past that we're embarrassed about but moved on from. It's alive. It's well. It's hurting people and it's one of the main reasons to be in politics today is to try to change or reverse the harms that went along with that."
On Sunday, Buttigieg pointed out: "My campaign office is actually on Jefferson Boulevard [in South Bend]" before claiming that he meant to say that "I think there’s a reason why Democratic parties, when we’re thinking about, for the future, our events, especially thinking about how burning of an issue something like racial equity is, we’re thinking twice about naming our events after Jefferson and Jackson."
"Basically, I said that we’re rethinking how Democratic functions might name our event," Buttigieg added. "Maybe we should name it for a person who’s living. Maybe we should name it after a person of color. I don’t know."
The 37-year-old then lamented what he called "this mentality that pervades the Twittersphere and its one of the things that we gotta get over in this campaign, is actually be ready to listen to each other. And I know nuance doesn't do great on cable or on Twitter, but at the very least we've gotta actually hear each other out."