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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg isn't worried about what President Donald Trump thinks of his masculinity. A day after Trump name-dropped the out contender, the South Bend, Ind. Mayor responded with a Chinese proverb.
"When the wind changes, some people build walls and some people build windmills," Buttigieg said.
Trump on Wednesday evening challenged Buttigieg's masculinity while at a Florida campaign rally.
"He'll be great. Representing us against President Xi of China," Trump said. "I want to be in that room, I want to watch that one." Trump didn't outright raise the topic of Buttigieg's sexuality, but the words elicited laughter from the crowd with its clear inferences.
Buttigieg, speaking to reporters the next day, said he didn't want to get into an insult contest with the incumbent.
"You can't get too worried about the name calling and the games he plays," he said in a video posted by Politico.
That's when he pulled out the proverb.
Buttigieg slightly misquoted the phrase, which originally went: "When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, others build windmills."
Dr. Dylan Jones, dean of education at the University of Wales, Trinity St. David, explained the proverb in a blog entry for the British Education Research Association last year. It establishes how some leaders hide from change and others use it to advance.
"The winds of change can be welcome, pushing you to a better world," Jones wrote.
Buttigieg presented the words to illuminate how he would enter negotiations with China, and how that might differ from Trump's approach.
"You've got to recognize we need something completely different than we have in this White House," Buttigieg said.
"The negotiations they are conducting, whether it's trade or things like in North Korea are usually a personal high wire act."
Trump at the same rally bragged how the U.S. started imposing new tariffs with China. He said that's a good deal for the nation, though it has sent global markets plunging.
Buttigieg suggested he would not seek bombast or lead with fear-mongering should he end up talking trade with Xi or other leaders.
"That's certainly no way to run a country, and it's certainly no way to engage with one of the major powers in the world," Buttigieg said.