Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, hit back at Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for his comments about her husband.
While appearing on Fox News host Brian Kilmeade’s radio show on Tuesday (9 April), the conversation turned to the openly gay presidential hopeful.
Pence’s main purposed for appearing on the show to support her follow-up children’s book about the family’s rabbit, which spawned a pro-LGBTI version that outsold the original and also became the second-most complained about book in the US.
When Kilmeade asked Pence about some of Buttigieg’s recent comments, however, she hit out at Buttigieg.
‘They’ve always had a great relationship,’ the Second Lady told Kilmeade. ‘It’s funny because I don’t think the vice president does have a problem with him, but I think it’s helping Pete to get some notoriety by saying that about the vice president.’
In a recent speech at the Victory Fund’s annual brunch, Buttigieg brought up Vice President Pence.
The VP was formerly Indiana’s governor, where Buttigieg is a mayor of South Bend.
‘That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand,’ said Buttigieg, who is a devout Episcopalian. ‘That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.’
He also said in the speech that marrying his husband brought him closer to God.
A religious back-and-forth
That speech was not the first time Buttigieg has brought up his relationship with Pence, who is a Christian and vigorously anti-LGBTI.
At a CNN town hall in March, Buttigieg criticizied Pence for supporting Donald Trump, as well as how he practices his faith in politics.
‘My understanding of scripture is that it is about protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person, and that idea of welcome,’ he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. ‘That’s what I get in the gospel and when I’m in church. His has a lot more to do with sexuality and, I don’t know, a certain view of rectitude.’
Mayor Pete Buttigieg on @VP: "How could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump?" https://t.co/0w8SGn2Fw9 #CNNTownHall pic.twitter.com/7F6pvSfNOF
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 11, 2019
Alyssa Farah, Pence’s spokesperson, tweeted recently that when Buttigieg came out in 2015, Pence, as governor, responded he held Buttigieg ‘in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot.’
Second Lady Pence also responded to this on Kilmeade’s show.
‘I’m just like, “Pete, did you not like that,” because that’s what the vice president said about him,’ she said. ‘So what’s the problem with that?’
Following this interview, Buttigieg tweeted: ‘People will often be polite to you in person, while advancing policies that harm you and your family.’
He did not mention either of the Pences.
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.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) April 9, 2019