POLITICS

Pete Buttigieg 'Can't Imagine' God Would Support Current Republican Party

The Democratic presidential candidate spoke out against religion being weaponized in politics.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who has made his Christian faith a cornerstone of his 2020 presidential campaign, suggested Tuesday that if God were to pick one side of the political aisle, it wouldn’t be the right. 

Buttigieg said in a wide-ranging interview with NBC’s “Today” that he has spoken openly about religion because he doesn’t want it to be “used as a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party.”

“And if he did, I can’t imagine it would be the one that sent the current president into the White House,” he added.

Buttigieg is both Episcopalian and gay, and he has been assailed by right-wing evangelicals who have claimed that his faith is in direct conflict with his sexuality.

He has repeatedly fended off his critics, including Vice President Mike Pence, and said in April that religion has been used “as a justification to harm people, especially in the LGBTQ community.”

The presidential hopeful talked to NBC about dealing with the anti-gay hecklers who have been showing up at his campaign stops.   

“In politics, you see the good, the bad and the ugly, and I think it happens for any candidate,” he said. “It’s not like I enjoy it, but I have a responsibility to keep the focus on what we’re actually trying to do.”

Buttigieg also said his campaign would bring “a very different energy” from that of President Donald Trump. 

“There’s going to be a temptation to kind of play his game. If you’re playing his game, you’re losing,” he said. “We’ve got to do something completely different.”

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