South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has had no issue starting fights with Vice President Pence without provocation, but when he was presented with an actual response from his targets, he tiptoed away. During his designated hour in the five-hour marathon with Democratic presidential candidates on CNN town halls Monday night, Buttigieg, who is openly gay, was asked to respond to U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell's defense of the VP. Buttigieg has sparred with Pence, the former governor of Indiana, over his religious beliefs, his view of homosexuality and his work on the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That legislation, according to Buttigieg, gave the governor a "license to discriminate."
Grenell, who is also gay, took the vice president's side and accused Buttigieg of staging a politically timed "hate hoax." CNN's Anderson Cooper confronted the candidate with that quote Monday night.
Pete Buttigieg asked to respond to Richard Grenell's criticism of his comments on Mike Pence:— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) April 23, 2019
"I'm not a master fisherman, but I know bait when I see it, and I'm not going to take it." pic.twitter.com/LqpMUP1uHA
Actually, Pence is the one who didn't "take the bait" while Buttigieg has suggested he's a bigot. He's only noted that he doesn't have a problem with Buttigieg. Heck, the two have known each other for years.
Well, Buttigieg's battle with the administration was finally not completely one-sided. He had some concrete responses to react to. But suddenly all he could manage was a rehearsed line?