At a CNN town hall in Austin, Texas Sunday night, Democratic presidential candidate Peter Buttigieg tore into Vice President Mike Pence for supporting President Donald Trump despite being an evangelical Christian.
Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana and the only millennial seeking the nation's highest office, told Jake Tapper that he used to think Pence "believed in our institutions and was not personally corrupt."
But this changed when Pence decided to join Trump's presidential ticket, becoming one of Trump's most faithful footsoldiers.
Buttigieg contrasted his own beliefs with Pence's fundamentalist "interpretation of scripture," the basis of Pence's opposition to topics like gay rights and pre/extramarital sex:
"My understanding of scripture is that it is about protecting the stranger, and the prisoner, and the poor person... has a lot more to do with sexuality and a certain degree of rectitude."
And therein lies Pence's hypocrisy, Buttigieg said:
"How could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency. Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump?"
Pete Buttigieg on Pence's support of Trump: "How could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star… https://t.co/5Muavabn2o— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1552273849.0
No offense to porn stars, but the nickname is perfect.
@kylegriffin1 The pornstar president— I hope that phrase gets used a lot.— Sharon Beattie (@Sharon Beattie)1552277899.0
@kylegriffin1 @k_ratoncita “The Pornstar President”! I think this may be a winner here folks on a name that fits👍… https://t.co/XNUQJCgyro— Cam (@Cam)1552310310.0
@kylegriffin1 @SymoneDSanders I like Pete Buttigieg a lot and hope he goes far in the 2020 election but he should p… https://t.co/NWEcambI4Q— Ran. (@Ran.)1552308430.0
What a perfect dig at Pence.
@kylegriffin1 When you sign up to work for the Anti-Christ as Pence has, it is a long and dark road you walk down— Will in Seattle (@Will in Seattle)1552289144.0
@kylegriffin1 Damn this is devastating coming 2 years into the Trump presidency. Pence is done.— Limited Liability Cool J (@Limited Liability Cool J)1552273948.0
@kylegriffin1 I can hear Mother clutching her pearls from here— Zach Wenzel 🇺🇲 (@Zach Wenzel 🇺🇲)1552274358.0
Buttigieg may not yet be a household name, but his town hall on Sunday certainly made a splash.
People are taking him seriously as a presidential contender.
@kylegriffin1 @rkrosalyn31 Pete Buttigieg has surprised me. I get good vibes from this man, he’s thoughtful, articu… https://t.co/xInylu9qUb— RiverCate (@RiverCate)1552306602.0
@kylegriffin1 Definitely impressed me. He went from “Oh God, not another candidate I never heard of” to “huh, this… https://t.co/D8PBDw2yHw— James A (@James A)1552275591.0
@kylegriffin1 I really like this guy. He’s got a very genuine way about him that is refreshing. Gonna keep an eye on this one— CC (@CC)1552286773.0
@kylegriffin1 I would love nothing more than for a smart person to be president. I don't think he has a great chanc… https://t.co/jmZA2X1sRw— Erik Halverson (@Erik Halverson)1552278554.0
@kylegriffin1 Boy, do I like him. Can’t wait for the debates to start. Great field of folks. That being said, WaPo’… https://t.co/AeLNikOTmb— Cathy Jones (@Cathy Jones)1552303665.0
Could Buttigieg be a dark horse candidate?
@kylegriffin1 This guy's really good. Smart. Clear. Insightful. Every time I hear something from him I'm really impressed.— Rob Honeycutt (@Rob Honeycutt)1552274098.0
@kylegriffin1 I am really impressed with @PeteButtigieg— Gordon Hunt (@Gordon Hunt)1552299446.0
@kylegriffin1 Oh wow, I like this dude. He needs a high profile spot on the team. He’s the future, possibly the n… https://t.co/1Xvvd4VaXe— the invisible man (@the invisible man)1552274355.0
Buttigieg's shade mirrors a piece in The Atlantic from last year in which the vice president is taken to task for his religious hypocrisy.
"No many can serve two masters, the Bible teaches, but Mike Pence is giving it his all," wrote McKay Coppins. "In Pence, Trump has found an obedient deputy whose willingness to suffer indignity and humiliation at the pleasure of the president appears boundless."