Trump supports Buttigieg campaigning with his husband: 'It's good'

Rebecca Morin

President Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, making fun of his name — "Boot-edge-edge" — and deriding the Rhodes Scholar as Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman.

But the president didn't take an opportunity to insult the 2020 Democratic White House hopeful in a video clip released Thursday. Instead, he praised Buttigieg for campaigning with his husband, Chasten.

"I think it’s good," Trump said.

During an interview with the president, Fox News host Steve Hilton commented how he thinks it's great to see Buttigieg on stage with his husband as the couple normalizes same-sex marriage amidst the ever-present media spotlight of a presidential campaign.

“I think it’s absolutely fine," Trump replied. "I do."

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Hilton noted that it's "a sign of great progress in the country," to which the president interrupted and said "I think it's great."

He added, however, that he believes some people in America will take issue with seeing the couple campaigning together.

"I think that’s something that perhaps some people will have a problem with," he said, quickly adding, "I have no problem with it whatsoever." The Fox News interview with Trump will air 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, an hour after Buttigieg has a live town hall on the network.

Buttigieg, who is one of 23 Democrats running for president, has repeatedly talked about being gay and has campaigned with his husband, which has sparked backlash from some conservative figures. Chasten Buttigieg, a former middle school teacher, is an avid social media user, who frequently posts on Twitter and Instagram about his life with his husband and on the campaign trail.

The Indiana Democrat over the past couple of weeks has also called out Vice President Mike Pence over his stance on LGBTQ issues. Pence, the former Indiana governor, during his tenure leading the state signed into law a “religious freedom” bill that critics said was a license to discriminate against gay people. But soon after he signed the measure he also signed an amendment intended to make it clear that businesses in the state could not discriminate against gays and lesbians. 

Buttigieg, who has repeatedly touted his Episcopalian faith, last month called out Pence, saying that it was not his choice that he is gay.

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“If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” Buttigieg said during the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in Washington. “And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences 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.”

In addition, Buttigieg has also questioned how a devout Christian like Pence “could allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency.”

Since then, Pence has said that Buttigieg "knows better." Earlier this week, the vice president also suggested he was holding back with regard to the 37-year-old politician.

"If he wins their party’s nomination, we’ll have a lot more to say about him," Pence said of Buttigieg during an interview on Fox News.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump supports Buttigieg campaigning with his husband: 'It's good'