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Karen Pence reacts to Democrat Pete Buttigieg's targeting of her husband

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'You shouldn't be attacked for what your religious beliefs are'

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Save the Storks

Second lady Karen Pence laughed off an attack on her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, on Tuesday, responding to comments aimed at him by Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.

What are the details?

Buttigieg — the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who has had a long working relationship with the vice president — hit out at Mike Pence over the weekend, accusing him of having "a problem" with the mayor's homosexuality.

On Tuesday, Fox News radio host Brian Kilmeade asked Karen Pence if she was surprised by Buttigieg's apparent unprovoked targeting of her husband, during an interview to promote her and her daughter's book, "Marlon Bundo's A Day in the Life of the Vice President."

Karen Pence noted that Buttigieg and her husband "have always had a great relationship," and circled back to her book, saying, "In our country, we need to understand: You shouldn't be attacked for what your religious beliefs are."

Kilmeade then played an excerpt from Buttigieg's speech directed at her husband, to which Karen Pence laughed.

"Well, it's kind of funny, because I don't think the vice president does have a problem with him," she said. "But I think it's helping Pete to get some notoriety by saying that about the vice president."

The Fox News host followed up by playing Mike Pence's comments about Buttigieg after the mayor came out of the closet in 2015: "I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard, and we have a great working relationship, and I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot."

Karen Pence reacted with laughter again, saying, "Well, I'm just like, 'Pete, did ya not like that?' I mean, because that's what the vice president said about him, so what's the problem with that?"

Anything else?

While the vice president has not made a public statement regarding Buttigieg's recent comments, CNN characterized the dust-up as an escalating "feud," saying, "Buttigieg appeared to respond to the pushback from Pence's orbit" when he tweeted Tuesday, "People will often be polite to you in person, while advancing policies that harm you and your family. You will be polite to them in turn, but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back, honestly and emphatically. So it goes, in the public square."

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