During his appearance on ELLEN Friday, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg addressed an accusation by Vice President Mike Pence that he has been attacking Pence’s “Christian faith” as a means to further his presidential aspirations.
“I’m not critical of his faith,” the mayor explained. “I’m critical of bad policies.”
“I don’t have a problem with religion – I’m religious, too,” he added. “I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people, and especially in the LGBTQ community. So many people, even today, feel like they don’t belong. You can get fired in so many parts of this country just for who you are. And that’s got to change.”
Back to Pence, the 37-year-old White House hopeful told Ellen he isn’t “interested in feuding with the Vice President.”
“But, if he wanted to clear this up he could come out today and say he’s changed his mind,” said Buttigieg. “That it shouldn’t be legal to discriminate against anybody in this country for who they are.”
Buttigieg also spoke about the influence of religion on his life and how it guides him.
“When I’m in church, the scripture that I hear is about taking care about the least among us it’s about lifting up those who are most vulnerable,” he explained. “It’s a message that is fundamentally about love. Love and humility. Humbling yourself before God and putting other people before you.”
Noting that many people were disappointed a woman wasn’t elected president in 2016, Ellen asked the mayor why those people should vote for him in the 2020 election.
“You gotta vote for the person you think best speaks to your values and is best able to lead the country, and you may decide that’s me and you may decide that’s somebody else.”
Underscoring the importance for administrations to have gender diversity and gender balance, Mayor Pete was quick to say he’d definitely be open to having a female running mate should he win the Democratic primary.
In related Mayor Pete news, the recent Saint Anselm College Survey Center poll shows he has surged to third place among Democratic voters in New Hampshire.
With former Vice President Joe Biden coming in on top with 23 percent, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders second with 16 percent, Mayor Pete garnered 11 percent support.
The pollster wrote in his report, “ “The emerging dark horse in this race may be Pete Buttigieg, who has gone from a virtual unknown to vault to 11% support, trailing only Biden and Sanders and ahead of Warren.”
The poll indicated Buttigieg has seen a 33-point increase in name recognition in recent weeks, almost all of it favorable.
And the latest poll out of Iowa from Monmouth University also shows Buttigieg in third place (9% support) behind Biden (27%) and Sanders (16%).