Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg brushed off comments by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh that took aim at the former mayor’s sexuality and relationship with his husband.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, Buttigieg said he isn’t going to take “lectures on family values” from Limbaugh, who previously described the candidate as “a gay guy, 37 years old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages.”
“I love my husband, I’m faithful to my husband, on stage we usually just go for a hug,” Buttigieg said Sunday. “I love him very much. I’m not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”
Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate to pursue a major presidential campaign, and his husband of more than two years, Chasten, has been prominently featured in campaign appearances and promotional materials.
Limbaugh, a longtime radio host who has been married four times and divorced three, has a lengthy track record of making offensive comments against minorities and women. He spoke out against Buttiegieg days after President Donald Trump awarded him the high honor of a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Speaking on his own show days after being awarded for “an especially meritorious contribution” to the country, the 69-year-old radio host repeatedly mocked Buttigieg to dismiss Democrats’ chance against Trump in the 2020 Election.
“There may be some Democrats who think that’s exactly what we need to do,” Limbaugh said. “Get a gay guy kissing his husband on stage, ram it down Trump’s throat, and beat him in the general election. Really. Having fun envisioning that.”
Despite Limbaugh’s comments, Trump emerged as one of the almost 80% of Americans who said they would vote for a gay or lesbian candidate, according to a 2019 Gallup poll.
“Would Americans vote for a gay man to be president?” Fox News journalist Geraldo Rivera asked Trump during an episode of his podcast.
“I think so,” Trump said. “I think there would be some that wouldn’t, and I wouldn’t be among that group, to be honest with you.”