Pete Buttigieg appeared on Fox News Sunday this weekend and responded to anti-gay comments made last week by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh — saying he would be “saddened” if Republicans embrace Limbaugh’s argument.
“I am in a faithful, loving and committed marriage,” Buttigieg said. “I’m proud of my marriage. And I’m proud of my husband.”
Last week, Limbaugh, 69, was criticizing the Democratic Party’s field of 2020 presidential candidates when he focused on Buttigieg, 38, whom he argued would have electability problems because of his sexuality.
Limbaugh referred to Buttigieg as “Booty Judge” and said President Donald Trump, 73, would probably “have fun” with the former Indiana mayor for being publicly affectionate with his husband, Chasten, 30.
“[The Democrats are] sitting there and they’re looking at Mayor Pete … gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage — and they’re saying, ‘Okay, how’s this going to look?’ ” Limbaugh said Wednesday. “A … gay guy kissing his husband onstage next to ‘Mr. Man’ Donald Trump — what’s going to happen there?”
On Sunday, Buttigieg said on Fox News that he was “not going to be lectured on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh or anybody who supports Donald J. Trump as the moral as well as political leader of the United States.” (Both Limbaugh and Trump have been married multiple times.)
“America has moved on and we should have politics of belonging that welcomes everybody,” Buttigieg told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “That’s what the American people are for. And I am saddened for what the Republican Party has become if they embrace that kind of homophobic rhetoric.”
Earlier this month, Trump stopped his State of the Union address to give Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s civilian honor. A day earlier, Limbaugh had announced on the air that he had advanced lung cancer.
In the days after Limbaugh was awarded his medal, there was backlash because he has a history of making offensive and provocative comments. He also reportedly helped push the racist claim that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States and had once called a Georgetown student a “slut” and a “prostitute” for advocating for birth control.
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah called out Limbaugh’s history of being “racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and sexist” in a segment on his Comedy Central show, while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was more blunt: “Rush Limbaugh is a violent racist.”
Last week, CNN host Jake Tapper also jumped in to defend Buttigieg after airing a segment about Limbaugh’s comments, referencing the fact that Limbaugh has been married four times.
“We should point out Buttigieg is married to one man. I don’t even know what number spouse Limbaugh’s up to,” Tapper said.
The Associated Press reports that multiple Republican lawmakers distanced themselves from Limbaugh’s comments last week, including the president and some of his strongest supporters, such a Sen. Lindsey Graham.
“It’s a miscalculation as to where the country is at,” Graham told the AP. “I think the country is not going to disqualify somebody because of their sexual orientation.”
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