Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg responded Sunday to Rush Limbaugh’s recent homophobic remarks, saying he doesn’t take “lectures on family values” from the conservative radio host and Medal of Freedom recipient.
“Well, I love my husband. I’m faithful to my husband. On stage we usually just go for a hug. But I love him very much, and I’m not going take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh,” Buttigieg, who is gay, told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
Last week, Limbaugh, a longtime radio host who is known for his incendiary comments on minorities, drew bipartisan criticism for remarks made on his show, where he said American voters, “despite all the great progress and despite all the great wokeness, and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president. They have to be saying this, don’t they?”
Limbaugh specifically mentioned Buttigieg kissing his husband on the debate stage and questioned how it would play out with American voters should Buttigieg become his party’s nominee and face-off against President Donald Trump in November.
Earlier this month, Trump awarded Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, during his State of the Union address. Asked last week whether Americans would support a gay candidate for president, Trump said he would not be opposed to a member of the LGBTQ community serving as president.
“But I think that yes, I think that it doesn’t seem to be hurting Pete Buttigieg … It doesn’t seem to be hurting him very much,” he said of the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s identity.
In a Gallup poll released earlier this month, more than 3 in 4 Americans (78%) said they would be willing to vote for a gay or lesbian person if they were a party’s “Well-Qualified” candidate for president.
Following Limbaugh’s remarks last week, several of Buttigieg’s 2020 rivals came to his defense, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who called the comments “hateful and offensive.”
“These homophobic attacks against @PeteButtigieg are hateful and offensive. We will not tolerate this in the Democratic presidential race, and we will fight together against the hate and bigotry that Donald Trump promotes and rewards,” Warren wrote in a tweet.
Former Vice President Joe Biden also responded to the homophobic remarks last week, saying the comments are “part of the depravity of this administration.”
“I mean the idea that, you know, Pete and I are competitors, but this guy has honor, he has courage, he’s smart as hell,” Biden said.
CNN’s DJ Judd and Chris Cillizza contributed to this report.