South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in the hunt for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Sunday night that he and Vice President Mike Pence (former governor of Indiana) have different views on biblical scripture.
CNN’s Jake Tapper, hosting a town hall in Austin, Texas, asked Buttigieg if Pence would be a better or worse president than Donald Trump.
After several moments of bewilderment, the 37-year-old mayor said that, while he disagreed with Pence ‘ferociously’ on things, he always felt Pence “at least believes in our institutions and he’s not personally corrupt.”
However, Buttigieg wondered aloud, “But then, how could he get onboard with this presidency?”
The openly gay mayor shared that his view of the Bible is based on “protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person – that idea of ‘welcome,’” while Pence’s take on scripture seems to have ”a lot more to do with sexuality and a certain view of rectitude.”
“But, even if you but into that, how could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency?” asked Buttigieg, referencing the allegations that Donald Trump made hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
“Is it that he stopped believing in scripture, when he started believing in Donald Trump? I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg on @VP: “How could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump?” https://t.co/0w8SGn2Fw9 #CNNTownHall pic.twitter.com/7F6pvSfNOF
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 11, 2019
The Harvard alum also talked on coming out as gay in his traditionally conservative state.
“Frankly, when I first got into politics, elected politics at the beginning of this decade in Indiana — In Mike Pence’s Indiana — I thought you could either be out or you could be in office, but you couldn’t be both,” Buttigieg said.
“I came out in the middle of a re-election campaign because it was just that time in my life when I had to do that,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Pence was governor. We weren’t sure what it would do to my political future in a socially conservative community.”
“I wound up getting re-elected with 80 percent of the vote,” he concluded.
Asked how he could be qualified for the White House having never held statewide office, Buttigieg pointed to his resume: “I actually think that experience is one of the best reasons for somebody like me to be in this — I have more years of government experience than the president.”
“I have more years of executive government experience than the Vice President, and more military experience than anyone to walk into that office since George H. W. Bush,” said the former Navy intelligence officer and veteran of the war in Afghanistan. “Experience is what qualifies me to have a seat at this table.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg: “I get that I’m the young guy in the conversation, but I would say experience is what qualifies me to have a seat at this table” https://t.co/TEZ8PRGJop #CNNTownHall pic.twitter.com/u3WVmjhirM
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 11, 2019