South Bend mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg continued to make news over the weekend, buoyed by a surge of support that has lifted his poll numbers, placing him near the top of a huge Democratic field of candidates.
Buttigieg slammed hypocritical Evangelical Christians, including Vice President Mike Pence, in a Meet The Press appearance, and headlined a brunch for the Victory Fund in Washington D.C. Watch both full speeches below.
Said Buttigieg to the Victory Fund: “As a kid I was hoping one day I’d be an astronaut … but no way would I have believed that one fine day in the spring of 2019 I would be standing in a ballroom in Washington, 37 years old, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, in my eighth year as mayor of my hometown, a couple hours after going on Meet The Press as a credible contender for the American presidency, with my husband looking on from his table!”
Buttigieg spoke to the crowd about meeting his husband Chasten, on a dating app (he has said in other interviews it was Hinge): “One day I was skimming through profiles on an app. Possibly not the app you’re thinking of. (laughs from the audience) I looked through the little screen on my phone and I saw this smile. This guy. And I clicked the button on the right because I had to meet him. And one of the best things about these last couple months has been watching America meet him too.”
He also spoke eloquently about the challenges of growing up gay.
“I’m uncomfortable admitting it even now,” he said. “When I was younger, I would have done anything to not be gay. When I began to halfway realize what it meant, it launched in me something I can only describe as a kind of war. And if the war had been settled on the terms that I would have wished for when I was 15 or 20 or frankly even 25 I would not be standing here. If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would’ve swallowed it before you had time to give me a sip of water.”
“It’s hard to face the truth that there were times in my life when if you had shown me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife,” he added. “Thank God there was no pill. Thank God there was no knife.”
Buttigieg also talked about what marriage meant to him, adding, “and yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God.”
Added Buttigieg: “If being gay is a choice, it was a choice that was made far above my pay grade.”
Buttigieg came out strongly against hypocritical evangelicals, including Vice President Mike Pence, in a strong appearance on Meet The Press.
Asked Chuck Todd: You said something rather strong about the president, that you said, “It’s hard to look at his actions and believe that they are the actions of somebody who believes in God.” How do you square that assessment with the fact that the Evangelical Christian community is so devoted to his candidacy?
“Well, it’s something that really frustrates me because the hypocrisy is unbelievable,” Buttigieg replied. “Here, you have somebody who not only acts in a way that is not consistent with anything that I hear in scripture or in church, where it’s about lifting up the least among us and taking care of strangers, which is another word for immigrants. And making sure that you’re focusing your effort on the poor. But also personally, how you’re supposed to conduct yourself. Not chest thumping look-at-me-ism, but humbling yourself before others. Foot washing is one of the central images in the New Testament. And we see the diametric opposite of that in this presidency.”
Added Buttigieg: “I think there was perhaps a cynical process where he decided to, for example, begin to pretend to be pro-life and govern accordingly. Which was good enough to bring many Evangelicals over to his side. But even on the version of Christianity that you hear from the religious right, which is about sexual ethics, I can’t believe that somebody who was caught writing hush money checks to adult film actresses is somebody they should be lifting up as the kind of person you want to be leading this nation.”