Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has made some eye-popping statements of late.
You might recall that the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said in late April that he supports "personal/religious exemptions" with parameters for vaccination exemptions — and then hours later reversed his statement after criticism from Democrats and the media.
Now in a Tuesday interview with NBC's "Today," the "devout Episcopalian" made what many might call quite contradictory statements — and pretty much in the same breath.
What did Buttigieg say?
After Buttigieg was asked why he spends time on the campaign trail talking about his faith, he replied that "it's important to me, and I think it's also important that we stop seeing religion used as a kind of cudgel, as if God belonged to a political party."
Immediately he then offered, "And if he did, I can't imagine it would be the one that sent the current president into the White House."
Let that sink in for a second.
He said we shouldn't use religion to bash people over the head, and God doesn't belong to a political party — but if God did belong to one, there's no way it would be the Republican Party. Ergo, if you're a Republican and believe in God, well, fill in the blank.
To be fair, Buttigieg didn't say he could imagine God being a Democrat — but his meaning might seem fairly clear regardless.
Here's the clip. The relevant portion begins just after the 3:10 mark:
Watch @PeteButtigieg’s full interview with @craigmelvin about his sudden rise as a contender in the 2020 presidenti… https://t.co/jd9PpB8iuN— TODAY (@TODAY)1557230458.0
What else did he say?
Buttigieg, 37 — who's openly gay and married — also said his 29-year-old husband Chasten "is made to be a dad."
Meaning that the couple want children "as soon as we can figure it out," Buttigieg told "Today."
Chasten Buttigieg says he spent childhood reading Harry Potter and "singing Celine Dion at the top of my lungs"… https://t.co/NiSBfqPZEx— The Hill (@The Hill)1556822583.0
Buttigieg also said Chasten is "just an example of somebody who will make a great dad one day. He's a great husband, and he'll make a great first spouse for this country, too. He cares about other people. He's a teacher. He cares about education, cares about kids, and he's somebody who I think is really alive to the ways that being in public office can allow you to help other people."
As it turns out, Chasten Buttigieg's brother Rhyan Glezman — a pastor of a Michigan church — told the Washington Post that Chasten's coming out wasn't a surprise, that he still loves his youngest brother, and that he wants "the best for him." However, Glezman added to the paper, "I just don't support the gay lifestyle."
Pete Buttigieg got a great deal of attention recently for proclaiming his Christianity in an attack against Vice President Mike Pence.
"People talk about marriage equality as a moral issue, and it is certainly a moral issue, as far as I'm concerned," Buttigieg told an audience last month. "It's a moral issue because being married to Chasten has made me a better human being. Because it has made me more compassionate, more understanding, more self-aware, and more decent. My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man.
"And yes, Mr. vice president, it has moved me closer to God," he also said, adding that "if you've got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."