Speaking at a gathering of conservative evangelical Christians, President Trump took a shot at Democrat Pete Buttigieg saying he is “trying to pretend” he’s a Christian.
The hard-right frequently take issue with Buttigieg’s faith because he is an openly gay married man. He also frequently mentions his Christianity and has made it one of the foundations of his campaign.
“The extreme left is trying to replace religion with government and replace God with socialism,” Trump told his supporters. “And I see Alfred E Neuman comes out and he’s trying to pretend he’s very religious. Alfred E Neuman you know who that is, right?” President Trump said at the gathering.
Neuman is a Mad Magazine character from the 1970s. Trump’s childish insult (a reference to Buttigieg’s appearance) received cheers from his extremist supporters.
“Buttigieg – you go ‘boot’ and then ‘edge, edge,’ because nobody can pronounce his name so they call him ‘Mayor Pete’,” Trump continued. “Now Mayor Pete I hope he does great. Boot-edge-edge. Now all of a sudden he’s become extremely religious, this happened about two weeks ago.”
Buttigieg responded to Trump’s comment via Twitter saying “God does not belong to a political party.
He took his response further at a New Hampshire rally telling reporters: “I’m not sure why the president’s taken an interest in my faith journey, but certainly I would be happy to discuss it with him.”
“I just don’t know where that’s coming from, you know. Certainly, it has been a complex journey for me, as it is for a lot of people, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been a believer longer than he’s been a Republican,” Buttigieg added.