- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 16, 2020

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded Sunday to comments from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh about him kissing his spouse, saying he won’t take advice from Mr. Limbaugh on family values.

The former small-town Indiana mayor who shot to the top of the 2020 Democratic field joined CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, pushing back against the comments that drew criticism last week from both sides of the aisle.

“I love my husband. I’m faithful to my husband,” Mr. Buttigieg said. “I’m not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Limbaugh characterized on his radio show how Democratic voters might be thinking, suggesting they may not believe a gay man can be elected president.

“They’re saying, ‘OK, how’s this going to look?’ ” Mr. Limbaugh said. “Thirty-seven-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage, next to Mr. Man, Donald Trump.’”

“Despite all the great wokeness and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, that America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president,” he added.

Mr. Limbaugh received the Medal of Freedom from the president earlier this month at the State of the Union.

The president was asked if he thought the country would select a gay man as president in an interview with Geraldo Rivera, according to The Associated Press.

“I think so,” the president said.

“I think there would be some that wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be among that group, to be honest with you.” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Buttigieg finished first in the Iowa caucuses, neck and neck with Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, who took first place in New Hampshire.

Some critics of Mr. Buttigieg have questioned whether he can remain at the top of the polls later this month when South Carolina primary voters head to the polls.

Rep. James Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat, said although the calculations have changed with Mr. Buttigieg becoming a front-runner, he’s familiar with Christian church teaching and its prominence with South Carolina voters.

“I still feel that is a problem, and we all have been reading what has been said in the last 24 hours about that. It doesn’t bother me personally. I like the mayor very much,” Mr. Clyburn told CNN.

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