Pete Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Ind., who's seeking the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination, continued to target Vice President Mike Pence during an appearance on “Ellen.”
For weeks, Buttigieg has gone after Pence, a former Indiana governor, over his views on LGBTQ issues. Pence responded this week by asserting that Buttigieg is attacking his faith and that “he knows better” due to their previous professional relationship. Pence also claimed that Buttigieg was being critical of him only to help boost his campaign.
But in his TV appearance, Buttigieg told host Ellen DeGeneres that he opposed Pence's “bad policies," not his faith.
“I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people and especially in the LGBTQ community," Buttigieg said. "So many people, even today, feel that they don’t belong. You can get fired in so many parts of this country just for who you are -- and that’s got to change.”
The Democratic mayor insisted he was "not interested in feuding with the vice president” but challenged Pence to take a stronger stance for the LGBTQ community.
“If he wanted to clear this up, he could come out today and say he’s changed his mind that it shouldn’t be legal to discriminate against anybody in this country for who they are,” Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg has seen a major surge in the polls in recent weeks, coming in third in the latest polls out of Iowa and New Hampshire.