‘Pete has his convictions…he knows I don’t have a problem with him…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Vice President Mike Pence responded to presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg’s attacks, saying that the South Bend mayor’s jabs are baseless.
“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.
Pence and Buttigieg worked together closely when Pence served as the governor of Indiana, and before Buttigieg announced his presidential campaign, Pence said they still 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 are,” Pence said.
Buttigieg, who came out as gay during his campaign for mayor while Pence was governor, has routinely criticized Pence’s faith since entertaining the idea of running for the White House.
“I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me,” Buttigieg said. “Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
Pence said that regardless of Buttigieg’s attacks, he would not apologize for his religious convictions.
“All of us have our own religious convictions,” Pence told CNN. “Pete has his convictions, I have mine … I considered him a friend. And he knows I don’t have a problem with him.”
Buttigieg, however, claimed he wasn’t attacking Pence’s faith.
“I’m not critical of his faith; I’m critical of bad policies,” Buttigieg told Ellen DeGeneres. “I don’t have a problem with religion — I’m religious too. I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people and especially in the LGBTQ community.”
The vice president said that if Buttigieg wants to make a lasting impression on the campaign trail, he should focus on the religious and family values that made America great.
“I hope that Pete will offer more to the American people than attacks on my Christian faith or attacks on the President as he seeks the highest office in the land,” Pence continued, later adding, “he’d do well to reflect on the importance of respecting the freedom of religion of every American.”