The newest issue of TIME magazine offers a lengthy feature on South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. On the cover, the words “First Family” overlap a photo of Buttigieg and his husband Chasten. “The unlikely, untested and unprecedented campaign of Mayor Pete Buttigieg,” the sub-header reads.
The emphasis of the TIME cover and its corresponding piece is on Buttigieg’s sexuality and those who oppose him allegedly because of it. The piece opens by discussing an encounter the mayor had with a random, sole heckler dressed as the devil denouncing Buttigieg’s sexuality as a “threat.”
“Four years after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed his right to marry, Buttigieg has become the first openly gay person to make a serious bid for the presidency,” TIME reports. “Buttigieg’s saying that ‘God doesn’t have a political party’ prompted evangelical leader Franklin Graham to tweet that being gay is ‘something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized.’ Concerned by the campaign’s rise, right-wing provocateur Jacob Wohl was recently caught trying to fabricate sexual-assault allegations against Buttigieg to slow him down.”
However, recent polling shows that a majority of the American people are open to having a gay person elected president if they agree with their policies. “Of registered voters surveyed, 70 percent said that they are open to electing a gay president, according to a survey from Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday,” The Hill reports. Such polling suggests that the issue of Buttigieg’s sexuality seems to be more of a focus among the press than American voters.
Buttigieg is no moderate. The likable mayor is a radical on key issues like abortion, gun control, health care, and climate change initiatives, as recently highlighted by The Daily Wire‘s Ryan Saavedra. Buttigieg supports abortion up until the moment of birth, has called for banning semi-automatic firearms, is a proponent of government-run single-payer health care, and backs democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) “Green New Deal,” which has been estimated to potentially cost $650,000 per U.S. household over a 10-year period.
Since officially announcing his candidacy, Buttigieg has made it a point to pit himself against Vice President Mike Pence, painting the conservative as a harmful bigot for his religious views.
“He’s nice. If he were here, you would think he’s a nice guy to your face. But he’s also fanatical,” the mayor said of Pence during an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The Democrat also took a not-so-veiled shot at the VP on Twitter, writing: “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.”
Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro slammed Buttigieg’s swipes at Pence as being done “in bad faith,” noting some past comments from Pence with regard to the mayor as evidence:
Back in 2015, South Bend, Ind.’s mayor, Pete Buttigieg, came out of the closet as a gay man. Asked about the news, Indiana governor, Mike Pence, simply responded, “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot.”
A year earlier, Buttigieg had been deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve. According to the Indianapolis Star, “a noticeably moved Pence called Buttigieg the day he was driving to the base.”