Presidential candidate and mayor Pete Buttigieg responded to homophobic comments from a local Tennessee official that went viral after a recorded meeting Monday.
At a meeting over whether to make the jurisdiction a "gun sanctuary," diverting resources away from the enforcement of certain gun laws, county commissioner Warren Hurt gave a speech about his view on America's political direction, which he said was skewing towards Democrats.
"We got a queer running for president, if that ain't about as ugly as you can get," he said, referring to Buttigieg, who is openly gay.
In comments Thursday, Buttigieg said, "Well, he was right about one thing. He's right that there is a gay man running for president, he doesn't seem to be right about much else."
In a widely-spread video, county commissioner Warren Hurst can be seen giving a minutes-long speech against what he sees as an America changing towards liberal values, arguing to make his jurisdiction a "gun sanctuary," meaning that resources would be diverted away from enforcing certain gun laws.
In the speech, Hurst lamented "what we got running for president in the Democratic party," saying that better candidates could be found in jail. He continued, "We got a queer running for president, if that ain't about as ugly as you can get," referring to Buttigieg, who is openly gay.
On Thursday, Buttigieg responded in an interview with local New Hampshire TV station WHDH.
"Well, he was right about one thing. He's right that there is a gay man running for president," he said. "He doesn't seem to be right about much else."
Buttigieg said that while he's faced similar incidents on the campaign trail, such as when anti-gay hecklers targeted him in Iowa. "It doesn't speak for most people," he said. "I think the most important thing is to approach with compassion."
Buttigieg, who is the first openly gay top-tier presidential candidate, has found early success in his unlikely campaign to go from serving as mayor of South Bend, Indiana to the White House. A recent Iowa poll put him in third among Democrats, within five percentage points of Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.