After Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is gay, eschewed any semblance of gentlemanliness and gratuitously attacked Vice President Mike Pence and others of faith whom Buttigieg believes harbor an animus toward gays, Pence responded on Thursday, telling Joe Kernan on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” “He said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally, and he knows better; he knows me.” Pence pointed out that Buttigieg’s remarks were likely a political move, adding, “I get it you know, it’s like — you have 19 people running for president on that side in a party that’s sliding off to the Left.”
Buttigieg had said last Sunday at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch, “If me [sic] being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade. At the And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand — that if you’ve got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.” He added on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, “He’s nice. If he were here, you would think he’s a nice guy to your face. But he’s also fanatical.”
Yet in 2015, after Buttigieg had announced publicly that he was gay, Pence said, “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot.”
On Tuesday, Pence’s wife Karen responded to Buttigieg’s attacks, telling Brian Kimeade of Fox News, “I think in our country, we need to understand you shouldn’t be attacked for what your religious beliefs are and I think kids need to learn that at a young age that this is OK, what faith people have; we don’t attack them for their faith.”
The exchange between Kernan and Pence went like this:
Kernan: You’ve got Mayor Pete, Pete Buttigieg is using, invoking your name to, I guess, highlight a conservative pushback to certain LBGT ideas or marriage equality and the like. Is that fair to use you as the boogieman in terms of the point, and would you like to respond? I don’t know if you have responded yet.
Pence: Well, look, I worked very closely with Mayor Pete when I was governor of the state of Indiana. We had a great working relationship and he said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally, and he knows better; he knows me. But I get it you know, it’s like — you have 19 people running for president on that side —
Kernan: Have you evolved at all, though —
Pence: — in a party that’s sliding off to the Left.
Kernan: I agree.
Pence: — and they’re all competing with each other for how liberal they can be.
Kernan pressed, “But since the year 2000, the country’s evolved to some extent on marriage equality on gay rights. Would you say your views have evolved at all since then?”
Pence answered logically that he was beholden to the law, saying, “Well, the Supreme Court has made their decision.”
Kernan: So you accept it as law?
Pence then made clear that he respected the law and also had Christian values that he lived by:
When I was governor of Indiana we fully implemented that decision into law. But Joe, I have my Christian values; my family and I have a view of marriage that is informed by our faith, and we stand by that. But that doesn’t mean that we’re critical of anyone else who has a different point of view. And one of the great things abut our country is our freedom of religion and the freedom of conscience. And we’ll continue to cherish our values, cherish our views, but look, one of the great things about this administration is from Election Night, President Trump made it clear that we anted to be an administration for every American, and I think that when you look at the results of this administration, you look at job creation and growth, when you look at how we’ve re-grounded our courts with strong principled conservatives in our federal courts at every level, the way we’ve rebuilt our military, restored the arsenal of democracy, the way that America’s standing tall in the world once again and respected once again, my hope is that every American will understand that in President Donald Trump and in our vice-president, that we’re fighting every day for a more prosperous and more secure future for them.