Vice President Mike Pence says 2020 Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg “knows better” after the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, criticized the former Indiana governor’s stance on same-sex rights.
“He said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally. And he knows better. He knows me,” Pence told CNBC’s Joe Kernen in an interview clip that aired Wednesday.
Buttigieg, who is gay, accused Pence of having “a problem with who I am” at a fundraiser for the LGBTQ organization Victory Fund on Sunday.
“If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” Buttigieg said. “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.”
Pence said in the CNBC interview that he “worked very closely with Mayor Pete” when he was governor and that the two “had a great working relationship.”
“But I get it. You know, it’s look, again, 19 people running for president on that side in a party that’s sliding off to the left. And they’re all competing with one another for how much more liberal they can be,” Pence added.
Pence’s comments echoed those previously made by his wife, second lady Karen Pence.
“They’ve always had a great relationship,” Karen Pence said on Fox News host Brian Kilmeade’s radio show on Tuesday. “It’s funny, because I don’t think the vice president does have a problem with him, but I think it’s helping Pete to get some notoriety by saying that about the vice president.”
Buttigieg seemed to address his lingering feud with Pence on Tuesday as well.
“People will often be polite to you in person, while advancing policies that harm you and your family,” he tweeted. “You will be polite to them in turn, but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back, honestly and emphatically. So it goes, in the public square.”