March 10, 2019
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg lambasted Mike Pence -- a man he used to work directly with during Pence's time as governor of Indiana -- calling the vice president a "cheerleader for the porn star presidency" on Sunday at CNN's town hall.
Buttigieg went on to question Pence's faith, asking rhetorically whether Pence stopped "believing in scripture when he started believing Donald Trump."
"How would he allow himself to become the cheerleader for the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing Donald Trump?" Buttigieg said. "I don't know. I don't know."
Porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said last year that she and Trump had an affair in 2006, after he married first lady Melania Trump and she gave birth to their son, Barron. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels, but the President has admitted that he knew about payments to Daniels to stop her from selling her story.
Pence served as governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017, overlapping with Buttigieg, who has served as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2012.
Buttigieg has previously said he had a working relationship with Pence early in his tenure, but on Saturday he said his view of Pence was the biggest thing he has changed his mind about.
The answer on Sunday came when CNN's Jake Tapper asked whether Pence "would be a better or worse president than President Trump?"
"Does it have to be those two?" Buttigieg replied.
Buttigieg went on to say that he "used to at least believe" that Pence "believes in our institutions and was not personally corrupt, but then how could he get on board with this President?"
"His interpretation of scripture is pretty different than mine to begin with," he said. "My understanding of scripture is that it's about protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person and that idea. That's what I get in the gospel when I'm at church and his has a lot more to do with sexuality ... and a certain view of rectitude."
Pence has long said he was "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order." As governor, he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill that critics contend could be used by individuals and businesses to discriminate -- particularly against the LGBT community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals -- on the basis of religion.
Buttigieg, 37, is running for the Democratic nomination and, if elected, would be the nation's first gay president.
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