Speaking in Iowa on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg claimed that he would bring Christianity back to the White House if he were elected president.
Faith doesn’t have to be something to divide us. Firs of all, we gotta recognize that one of those many values honored by our flag is the fact that it belongs to people of every religion and no religion equally; that’s a basic American principle. But I’m also offering to people who are guided by a faith tradition in making their decisions about what they think is right and wrong that when I’m president you’ll never have to look at the White House and scratch your head and think, “Whatever happened to ‘I was hungry and you fed me. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’ ‘Whatever you’ve done to the least of these, you have done to me.’”
Buttigieg then segued to attacking Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that permitted corporations and unions to be unfettered in their donations to political campaigns. He opined, “I’m thinking about democracy not as a system, but as a value, the belief that our country is better when the views of everybody are taken into account and when we have a system that actually reflects what we, the American people, want. That’s why it’s so important to do something abut Citizens United and get money out of politics.”
As National Review noted in 2010 to support the SCOTUS decision:
… campaign-finance regulations have had two ugly impacts: First, they have imposed huge legal costs on those wishing to participate in the political process, effectively shutting out smaller voices who cannot afford to pay campaign lawyers and risk legal trouble in getting their messages across. Loosening legal restrictions on smaller businesses will now allow them to enter the marketplace of political ideas on a more equal footing with their larger competitors. Second, campaign-expenditure limits have driven corporate money away from public dialogue and into channels that have been more corrosive and less transparent (think lobbyists, lawsuits, and regulatory capture).
Buttigieg’s implication that he would bring Christianity back to the White House would seem to be in contrast with some of his previous statements. Last April, he attacked Vice President Mike Pence, a devout Christian, tweeting, “Speaking only for myself, I can tell you that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade. And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand.” He added on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, “He’s nice. If he were here, you would think he’s a nice guy to your face. But he’s also fanatical.”
“Speaking only for myself, I can tell you that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade. And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand,” Pete Buttigieg told LGBTQ political action committee Victory Fund pic.twitter.com/qNKXgFjJXj
— POLITICO (@politico) April 8, 2019
As Michael Knowles of The Daily Wire noted:
For his part, Pence has never criticized Buttigieg. He has never attacked Buttigieg for his homosexuality or anything else. When Buttigieg deployed to Afghanistan, Pence phoned to wish him well. The only time Pence publicly referred to the South Bend mayor was to pay him a compliment. “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard,” wrote Pence in 2015, after Buttigieg declared himself gay. “I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot,” gushed Pence — not exactly fighting words.
Pence responded to Buttigieg on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” saying, “He said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally, and he knows better; he knows me.” Pence pointed out that Buttigieg’s remarks were likely a political move, adding, “I get it you know, it’s like — you have 19 people running for president on that side in a party that’s sliding off to the Left.”
U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who is gay, snapped, “One of the things that really bothers me about this attack is that Mike Pence is a friend of mine. Mike and Karen are great people. They are godly people. They’re followers of Christ. They don’t have hate in their heart for anyone. They know my partner, they have accepted us. You ask me do we agree philosophically on every single issue? No.”
Last May, after Georgia passed a “heartbeat bill” protecting the lives of unborn children, Buttigieg tweeted, “A woman has enough to deal with when it comes to her health care without also having to worry about male politicians telling her what she ought to do with her body. Georgia’s abortion ban is a cruel attack on women’s autonomy and freedom — one that we must continue to resist.”
A woman has enough to deal with when it comes to her health care without also having to worry about male politicians telling her what she ought to do with her body. Georgia’s abortion ban is a cruel attack on women’s autonomy and freedom — one that we must continue to resist.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) May 9, 2019
Also in May, Buttigieg implied that if God belonged to a political party, it wouldn’t be the Republican party. Asserting that he discussed religion so people will “stop seeing religion as a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party,” he followed by saying, “And if he did, I can’t imagine it would be the one that sent the current president into the White House.”
Video of Buttigieg’s Iowa statement below: