VP debate: Buttigieg eviscerates ‘professed Christian’ Pence as he stands in for Harris debate prep

Former South Bend mayor claims vice president ‘is going to be in the position of defending the character of a president who got caught sending hush money to a porn star’

James Crump
Thursday 01 October 2020 18:05 BST
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Buttigieg slams 'professed christian' Pence as he stands in as VP in Kamala debate prep

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Pete Buttigieg lambasted “professed ChristianMike Pence for defending Donald Trump, as he revealed that he is standing in as the vice president for Kamala Harris’ debate preparation.

During an interview on Fox News on Tuesday night, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, discussed his role as Mr Pence in the Democratic vice presidential nominee’s debate preparation, but joked: “I’m not gonna give any behind the scenes stuff.”

Mr Buttigeig and Mr Pence are both Christians from Indiana, and when asked about any similarities between the pair by host Martha McCallum, the 38-year-old accused the vice president of hypocrisy for defending Mr Trump.

“I was mayor of South Bend when Mike Pence was governor. Look, I don’t envy the job he’s going to have to do next week,” Mr Buttigieg said on Tuesday.

“You’ve got a professed Christian who is going to be in the position of defending the character of a president who got caught sending hush money to a porn star.” he added.

Mr Buttigieg was referring to adult film star Stormy Daniels, whom Mr Trump allegedly paid $130,000 (£100,681) before his successful campaign for president in 2016, to keep quiet about their sexual relationship.

He made similar comments about Mr Pence in 2019, when he unsuccessfully ran to be the Democratic nominee for president.

Mr Buttigieg, who is openly gay, said that his faith is based around “protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person,” while Mr Pence’s is about “sexuality and a certain view of rectitude,” according to LGBTQ Nation.

Mr Pence repeatedly supported anti-LGBT+ policies while he was the governor of Indiana, including voting against a bill that would have banned discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation.

The vice president also previously opposed the repeal of a law preventing openly gay people from serving in the military, and in 2019, Mr Buttigieg said in reference to Mr Pence: “My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man,” and added: “And yes, Mr Vice President, it has moved me closer to God.

“That’s the thing 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. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

He added: “Speaking only for myself, I can tell you that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade.”

During the interview on Tuesday, Mr Buttigieg also criticised the Coronavirus Task Force, which Mr Pence leads, for its handling of the pandemic.

“You’ve got the person who has been placed in charge of the Coronavirus Task Force, leading the national response for our country, this country, having the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world,” he said.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, in the US as a whole, some 7.1 million people have tested positive for coronavirus, while the death toll has reached at least 206,351.

The vice presidential debate is scheduled for Wednesday, 7 October, and will take place at Kingsbury Hall, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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