Vice President Mike Pence accused Democratic White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg of attacking his Christian faith, as the two men spent the week trading increasingly personal barbs.
“I hope that Pete will offer more to the American people than attacks on my Christian faith or attacks on the president as he seeks the highest office in the land,” Pence said in an interview on CNN. “He’d do well to reflect on the importance of respecting the freedom of religion of every American.”
Pence, who was Indiana governor from 2013 to 2017, said he and Buttigieg, mayor of the state’s fourth-largest city, South Bend, “worked very closely together when I was governor, and I considered him a friend. And he knows I don’t have a problem with him.”
Pence was referring to comments Buttigieg made about his homosexuality in which he called out the vice president.
“If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” Buttigieg said Sunday. “And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
Buttigieg added that marrying his husband “has made me a better man, and yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God.” He also accused Pence of being “the cheerleader of the porn star presidency” and “at best complicit” in the rise of white nationalism.
When asked to respond to Buttigieg’s remarks, Pence told CNN that “all of us have our own religious convictions. Pete has his convictions, I have mine.” He continued, “I think Pete’s quarrel is with the First Amendment. All of us in this country have the right to our religious beliefs. I’m a Bible-believing Christian.”
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