Donald Trump made his first remarks about South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday in an interview with SiriusXM’s David Webb, but didn’t mention him by name.
Speculating on who he’d be running against in 2020, Trump mentioned “the mayor from Indiana” and said, “I think I’d like running against him too. But it’ll be interesting to see it unfold.”
In an interview we missed recently, Buttigieg was asked by CNBC’s John Harwood if he was going to emulate Obama who chose to not emphasize his race when he ran for president, and mute his sexual orientation on the campaign trail.
Said Buttigieg: “When Chasten and I started dating, and eventually got married in South Bend, we weren’t exactly sure how the idea of the first-ever male first gentlemen, let alone a same-sex one, would be received in town. And pretty quickly, we just hit on the idea of expecting to be treated like any other couple. We’d act like any other couple, we’d hope people would treat us that way. And for the most part that’s what people did.”
“Look, being gay is part of who I am, and it’s part of my story, and it has shaped me in some important ways,” he added. “It’s also just part of my story. It’s not all of who I am. And what I hope to do is turn to that story if it helps people understand how I might be able to relate to others with radically different experiences, but certain things in common.”
He continued, saying we have to get identity right: “But I’m not running to be president for any one group. If I thought to myself just in terms of identity lines, it’d be a pretty lonely place, because I’m the only Maltese-American Episcopalian gay veteran that I know. If we get identity right, then it can actually be a source of solidarity with people whose identity is completely different. I think divisive identity politics is exactly what’s being practiced by the White House today, and it’s using race to divide us within, for example, the middle and working class. We’ve got to turn the page from that.”