Pete Buttigieg on Sunday shrugged off Rush Limbaugh’s homophobic remarks regarding his marriage, saying he isn’t going to “take lectures on family values” from the right-wing radio host ― a man known for pushing racist, sexist and anti-LGBTQ views.
“Well, I love my husband,” Buttigieg told CNN’s “State Of The Union” when asked if he would like to respond to comments Limbaugh made on his radio show earlier this week.
“I’m faithful to my husband,” he continued. “On stage, we usually just go for a hug but I love him very much. And I’m not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”
Limbaugh referred to the openly gay Democratic presidential candidate kissing his husband Chasten Buttigieg at least five times during his show on Wednesday. He suggested Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, wouldn’t fare well in the general election against President Donald Trump, whom he referred to as “Mr. Man.”
“A gay guy, 37 years old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages,” Limbaugh said Wednesday. “Can you see Trump have fun with that?”
He suggested the “grand pooh-bahs” of the Democratic Party are worried about Buttigieg’s presidential bid:
They’re sitting there and they’re looking at Mayor Pete — a 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage — and they’re saying, “Okay. How’s this gonna look, a 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to Mr. Man, Donald Trump? What’s gonna happen there?”
Limbaugh, who announced earlier this month that he has advanced lung cancer, has a long history of spewing hateful vitriol on his radio show.
In 2012, he referred to Sandra Fluke, a law student who testified before Congress about the importance of requiring insurance plans to cover birth control, as a “slut” and a “prostitute.” He has repeatedly referred to women’s rights advocates as “feminazis” and has mocked the concept of consent in sexual relations.
Limbaugh also promoted the debunked conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S., a racist lie also embraced by Trump in 2011. He has said that all composite sketches of wanted criminals look like Jesse Jackson, the Black activist.
Despite his laundry list of offensive remarks, including floating the idea that the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque shootings last year were a false flag operation, Trump earlier this month awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom ― the highest civilian honor given by a U.S. president.
Following his interview with “State Of The Union,” Buttigieg appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” where host Chris Wallace asked him to respond to Limbaugh’s comments as well as recent remarks from former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka.
“Why is a homosexual man lecturing us about the sanctity of life in the womb? Just a little curious there ― strange,” Gorka said Wednesday on his radio show about Buttigieg’s support for women’s reproductive rights.
Buttigieg told Wallace that he’s in a loving, committed relationship with his husband and reiterated that he was not going to be lectured on “family values” by Limbaugh or anyone who supports Trump as the “moral as well as political leader of the United States.”
″I’m proud of my marriage,” Buttigieg said. “We should have a politics of belonging that welcomes everybody. ... I am saddened for what the Republican Party has become if they embrace that kind of homophobic rhetoric.”
Wallace asked if he thinks his sexuality would be an issue in the election.
“I came out during a general election in South Bend,” Buttigieg said. “This was at a time when Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana and we didn’t know what would happen. I’ll tell you what happened: I got reelected with 80% of the vote in my generally Democratic but socially conservative community.”
“When it comes to LGBTQ issues ... the most important thing is not the treatment of candidates, it’s what’s happening to individuals and families across the country from brave service members who have their careers threatened by this president to kids experiencing bullying right now in this climate,” he continued. “We can do better.”