CNN host Jim Sciutto shut down a conservative commentator on Thursday for defending Rush Limbaugh’s recent anti-gay attacks on Pete Buttigieg.
On his radio show Wednesday, Limbaugh questioned how it will look when Buttigieg, whom he calls “booty judge,” kisses his husband on stage after a debate against “Mr. Man Donald Trump.”
Conservative commentator Ben Ferguson appeared on CNN on Thursday morning to defend Limbaugh’s remarks, saying he believes many Democrats fear Buttigieg’s sexuality could become an issue in the general election.
“Is anyone going to look masculine next to Donald Trump on stage?” Ferguson said. “I think the only Democrat out there would be Joe Biden.”
Ferguson added that he addressed the topic on his own radio show recently, with numerous Democrats calling in.
“There was a surprising number of Democratic voters who said it was an issue for them, the same way we saw that lady try to take back her vote in Iowa after she voted and found out that Mayor Pete was gay,” Ferguson said. “[Limbaugh is] saying, there are Democrats who are sitting there worried that this is going to be a bigger issue, just like we saw in California when gay marriage was overturned by voters in a liberal state.”
Sciutto had the perfect response.
“Let me take issue with your premise,” Sciutto said. “What’s more manly, volunteering for military service, as Pete Buttigieg did, or avoiding it?”
“Look, I’m talking about appearance here,” Ferguson responded. “I was with the president last week in the Oval [Office] and I promise you he looked more masculine next to me than I did, and I consider myself to be a pretty masculine guy.”
Sciutto then repeated his question.
“You said the president appears more manly, for I don’t know what reason,” Sciutto said. “I’m citing an issue of the record. Buttigieg volunteered for military service. The president took great pains to avoid it. Which is more manly?”
Ferguson said while Buttigieg could challenge Trump on the issue of military service, “If you asked 100 Democratic voters which candidate looked more masculine, Joe Biden or Mayor Pete, I think they would probably say Joe Biden.”
“It seems to me you’re justifying bigotry here,” Sciutto told Ferguson. “Consultants might have said it’s a negative to be a person of color. This is the year 2020. I’m just curious what you’re justifying here.”
Watch it below.