Pete Buttigieg takes the moral high ground after voter says she doesn’t want a gay president
Pete Buttigieg has responded diplomatically to a viral clip of an Iowa voter asking to withdraw her vote for him because he is gay.
The video from Monday’s caucus in Cresco, Iowa showed the woman seeking to change her vote after discovering Buttigieg is married to a man – telling the candidate’s precinct captain: “I don’t want anybody like that in the White House. Can I have my [ballot] back?”
Buttigieg, who is the first major Presidential candidate to be open about his sexuality, was played the clip during an appearance on The View on Thursday – and his response was the definition of the high road.
Pete Buttigieg takes the high road after voter
Responding to the woman, he said: “What I want her to know is that I’m running to be her president too.
“Of course, I wish she was able to see that my love is the same as her love for those that she cares about, and that my marriage means as much to me as hers, if she’s married.
“But if she can’t see that – and even if because she can’t see that, she won’t vote for me – I am still, if I’m elected president, going to get up in the morning and try to make the best decisions for her and the people she loves.
“I will work to serve every American whether they supported me or not.”
Whoopi Goldberg was stunned by ignorant voter: ‘Does she read anything?’
His response was certainly more diplomatic than Whoopi Goldberg, who was staggered that a voter could have not heard that Buttigieg is gay – given the candidate’s husband Chasten Buttigieg has been present throughout the campaign, and the couple even featured on the cover of Time Magazine.
Exasperated, she said: “Had she never seen him before? Does she read anything?”
Asked by Joy Behar how he would overcome “religious bigotry” in the race, Buttigieg again gave a measured answer.
He responded: “We all come at faith in a different way. This is a country that belongs to people of every religion and of no religion.
“I’ve been very open about my faith, because I want to remind people that you don’t have to vote a certain way because of your faith.
“If your faith guides you, I think at a time like this, what about ‘I was hungry and you fed me’? What about ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’?
“What about seeking leaders who walk in humility and decency? Does your faith have anything to say about that?”
Buttigieg’s precinct captain, Nikki van den Heever, had also earned praise for her response to the woman during the incident on Monday.
She had told the voter: “I would like you to dig deep inside and think, should it matter if it’s a woman or a man, a heterosexual or homosexual, if you believe in what they say?
“You have a total right to your opinion, and I am not trying to tell you to think otherwise, but I’m asking you to look inside your heart – you sound like a Christian woman to me, and I’m a Christian woman, and my God wants me to love everybody.
“We’re interpreting it differently, and that’s OK, everybody gets to have their own beliefs, but what I teach my son is that love is love. We’re all human beings.”