South Bend, Indiana Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg insists on picking a fight with Vice President Mike Pence, but so far he's been disappointed. Pence has "no problem" with Buttigieg, having worked with him when he was governor of Indiana. He's known him for years. Still, the mayor insists that Pence's belief in traditional marriage and his views on homosexuality are bigoted and backward.
U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is also gay, yet he took Pence's side on this one. In a recent Fox News interview, he not only defended the Pences' character, but he went so far as to accuse Buttigieg of staging a "hate hoax" in the same vein as "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.
Amb. @RichardGrenell: “Mike Pence is a friend of mine. Mike and Karen are great people. They’re godly people. They’re followers of Christ. They don’t have hate in their hearts for anyone.”— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) April 19, 2019
How about you @PeteButtigieg? You have hate in your heart? pic.twitter.com/KoNuIduvOF
Pence, Grenell shared, has warmly "accepted" him and his partner, and have always extended to them Christian hospitality. Buttigieg, meanwhile, "has been pushing this hate hoax along the lines of Jussie Smollett for a very long time now."
Grenell finds it "really ironic" that Buttigieg waited to speak out against Pence until he announced his campaign for president.
Media analysts agree that Buttigieg's unnecessary and one-sided bickering with Pence is not a good look.
Pete Buttigieg is a talented politician with a bright future in his party. But his cynical effort to pick a fight with Pence, who has praised him and treated him with respect, is a stain that will last. @RichardGrenell nails it here. https://t.co/kcTa2PcgTG— Brit Hume (@brithume) April 19, 2019
Gay rights groups, however, argue that a sitting ambassador shouldn't be weighing in on 2020 candidates.