At rally in Florida on Wednesday, Donald Trump took aim at presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg for the first time. Trump, who has a history of flubbing names, first mocked the pronunciation of the gay South Bend, Ind., mayor’s last name before moving on to comments that appeared to question Buttigieg’s masculinity.
While speaking in Panama City, which was ravished by Hurricane Michael seven months ago, Trump zeroed in on the Democrats who hope to challenge him in 2020.
“We got some real beauties. We got a choice between Sleepy Joe and Crazy Bernie. I’ll take any of them, let’s just pick somebody please and let’s start this thing,” Trump said.
“Pick somebody!” he said. “We have a young man, Butt-ig-ieg, boot-edge-edge, they say edge–edge.”
“He’s got a great chance doesn’t he?” Trump said.
“He’ll be great. He’ll be great. Representing us against President Xi of China,” said of Buttigieg, a Naval Reserve veteran who served in Afghanistan.
“I want to be in that room, I want to watch that one,” Trump said failing to expound on what about Buttigieg, who speaks several languages, would be interesting to watch when dealing with world leaders.
President Donald Trump goes after Pete Buttigieg for the first time. "He's got a great chance, representing us against President Xi of China. That'll be great. I wanna be in that room. I wanna watch that one." pic.twitter.com/EcH3wwemRv
— Evan Semones (@evansemones) May 9, 2019
While Trump was careful not to call Buttigieg's sexuality into question, he has proven in the past to be overly concerned with traits he perceives as masculine. He’s previously mocked Marco Rubio by calling him “Little Marco” for being under 6 feet tall and similarly called North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un “Little Rocket Man.”
Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, a report from Axios asserted Trump requires the men who work for him to be “sharply dressed” and to have a strong “physical demeanor,” which included his being obsessed with the generals he picked who had a “John Wayne strut.”