The 37-year-old Indiana mayor has pushed back against the notion that conservatives and the Republican party own issues like freedom and faith in America, saying Tuesday he felt it was “important that we stop seeing religion used as a kind of cudgel, as if God belonged to a political party.”
“And if he did,” Mr Buttigieg added, “I can’t imagine it would be the one that sent the current president into the White House.”
The Democrat was discussing hecklers who have begun following him along the campaign trail to denounce his sexuality, telling the Today show he would not stop placing value on his religious ideologies while meeting with voters ahead of the upcoming primaries.
Mr Buttigieg has also said he is planning on eventually starting a family with his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, who he described as “a great husband and he'll make a great first spouse for this country too.”
The 2020 candidate is surging in the polls in recent weeks as he has travelled through critical primary states and met with the likes of former President Jimmy Carter and civil rights leader Al Sharpton, who described Mr Buttigieg as “more impressive than I thought he would be.”
“The most impressive thing about him is he seems comfortable in his own skin,” Mr Sharpton told the Daily Mail. “You meet a lot of political people that you feel they're insecure or trying to mold themselves to what they think you like. He seems to be who he is. And I think that's impressive and refreshing.”
Mr Buttigieg has also proven to be an effective fundraising juggernaut, securing comparative donations to some of the most nationally-recognised politicians to have thrown their names in the ever-growing 2020 pool, from Kamala Harris to Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren.
The Democrat is an Episcopalian Christian who has frequently argued religion and God do not have party affiliations.
"I get that one of the things about Scripture is different people see different things in it," Mr Buttigieg said during a CNN town hall last month. "But at the very least, we should be able to establish that God does not have a political party."
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