"He said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally. And he knows better. He knows me," Pence told CNBC in an interview scheduled to air Thursday morning. "But I get it. You know, it’s – look, again, 19 people running for president on that side in a party that’s sliding off to the left. And they’re all competing with one another for how much more liberal they are."
Buttigieg, who is openly gay, discussed his sexual orientation during an event hosted by the LGBTQ Victory Fund last Sunday, saying: "If me being gay was a choice, it was made far, far above my pay grade ... That’s the thing that I wish the Mike Pence’s of the world would understand – that if you got a problem with who I am – your problem is not with me, your quarrel sir, is with my creator."
Pence, who was Indiana's governor when Buttigieg came out as gay during his mayoral re-election campaign in 2015, noted that he had implemented the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling that made gay marriage legal in all 50 states.
"But," the vice president added, "I have my Christian values. My family and I have a view of marriage that’s informed by our faith. And we stand by that. But that doesn’t mean that we’re critical of anyone else who has a different point of view."
Pence's wife, Karen, told The Brian Kilmeade Show on Fox News Radio on Tuesday that her husband and Buttigieg had "always had a good relationship," adding: "I think it’s helping Pete to get some notoriety by saying that about the vice president."
She continued, "I think in our country we need to understand you shouldn’t be attacked for what your religious beliefs are and I think kids need to learn that at a young age that this is okay what faith people have, we don’t attack them for their faith."
In an apparent response to Karen Pence, Buttigieg tweeted: "People will often be polite to you in person while advancing policies that harm you and your family. You will be polite to them in turn, but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back, honestly and emphatically. So it goes, in the public square."