During a CNBC interview, Mike Pence weighed in on Pete Buttigieg’s recent remarks about Pence’s anti-LGBTQ stance, alleging that the Indiana mayor was trying to be the most “liberal” out of a crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls.
Pence was asked to respond Buttigieg’s comments made at the Victory Fund brunch in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.
“My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man and yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God. I can tell you, that 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 could understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” he added.
Despite Pence’s long history of working against LGBTQ rights, CNBC’s Joe Kernan asked him if he thought it was fair for South Bend, Ind., Mayor Buttigieg (who worked with the vice president when he was governor of that state) if it was fair “to make you the bogeyman?”
“I worked very closely with Mayor Pete when I was governor of the state of Indiana. We had a great working relationship. He said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and of me personally. He knows better. He knows me,” Pence responded.
“I get it. They got 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,” he added.
Pence’s suggestion that Buttigieg was using him to get ahead mirrored comments his wife, Karen Pence, made earlier this week in which she defended her anti-LGBTQ religion and accused the South Bend mayor of being motivated by ambition.
“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,” Karen Pence said. “We don’t attack them for their faith.”