Pete Buttigieg responds to Mike Pence: ‘I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people’

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was on&nbsp;Ellen&nbsp;Friday, and the likely presidential candidate&nbsp;came just short&nbsp;of officially announcing his candidacy.” data-reactid=”24″>South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was on Ellen Friday, and the likely presidential candidate came just short of officially announcing his candidacy.

“I can think of no better place than here. Except one, which is my home town,” Buttigieg said of South Bend. “We have a big event planned on Sunday and can’t wait to have as many friends and supporters as we can come, and we’re looking to make some news.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="And while he didn’t talk about what Sunday’s event would entail, the Harvard graduate and Rhodes Scholar did discuss topics like his&nbsp;recent back-and-forth&nbsp;with Vice President Mike Pence, who claims Buttigieg has been&nbsp;attacking his faith.” data-reactid=”26″>And while he didn’t talk about what Sunday’s event would entail, the Harvard graduate and Rhodes Scholar did discuss topics like his recent back-and-forth with Vice President Mike Pence, who claims Buttigieg has been attacking his faith.

“I’m not critical of his faith, I’m critical of bad policies,” Buttigieg said. “I don’t have a problem with religion, I’m religious too. I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people, especially in the LGBTQ community.”

Buttigieg said that while he’s not interested in a war of words with Pence, he encouraged him to clarify his stance, saying “he could come out to today and say he’s changed his mind, that it shouldn’t be legal to discriminate against anybody in this country for who they are.”

He also broke down the reason he chooses not to go after and react to President Trump as frequently as many of the other presidential candidates have.

“Of course when he lies we gotta say something about it, and when he does something wrong we gotta confront it. But it can’t be all about him,” Buttigieg said of the Democartic party and Trump. “It’s really about making sure we’re talking about you… the American voter.”

The 37-year-old Buttigieg, who is a concert pianist and served as a member of the United States Navy Reserve in Afghanistan, also talked about the importance of having “gender balance” and diversity in government. Which is why the openly gay prospective Democratic presidential candidate said he would be open to having a female vice president if he was able to earn the nomination.

“The next president is going to have to make sure that that administration, at the most senior levels, has gender balance. Especially if the next president turns out to be male,” Buttigieg said. “Gender balance and diversity in general, is going to be extremely important and that starts with the ticket.”

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