The mainstream media invented a war of words between Buttigieg and Pence that until Wednesday night had been one-sided.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is one of 18 or 19 Democrats running for president, has enjoyed mostly fawning press coverage since he entered the race back in January. But he hadn’t really done anything early on to differentiate himself from the crowded field of contenders.
So he decided to do something about it. Along the way, our so-called “impartial” mainstream media eagerly lent him a helping hand. They invented a “feud” with VP Mike Pence that did not exist.
Buttigieg, who is a married gay man and military veteran, talked extensively about Pence in an interview on Stephen Colbert’s show back in mid-February. “If he were here, you’d think he’s a nice guy to your face, but he’s also just fanatical,” he told Colbert.
He was asked about Pence by Jake Tapper during a CNN town hall in Austin, TX mid-March. Here’s what he said at the time:
“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? I don’t know,” Buttigieg said.
“His interpretation of the scripture is pretty different from mine to begin with. My understanding of the scripture is that it is about protecting the stranger, and the prisoner, and the poor person, and that idea of welcome,” he said….
“But that masks this absolutely fanatical view about how the world works or how the universe works that has led to these incredibly hurtful, dangerous, and harmful policies, and that’s what we have now in the White House. And I think it chills a lot of us, especially in the LGBTQ community, to see that somebody like that can be in that kind of position of power.”
On March 27, Buttigieg was again asked by Buzzfeed about Pence a couple of weeks later, and told the interviewer that he believed the VP was “at best complicit” in the “resurgence of white nationalism” for sticking by President Trump.
Mike Pence, to date, had not responded to any of Buttigieg’s remarks.
Buttigieg gave an interview on CNN on April 3 where Pence once again was the topic of conversation:
The South Bend, Ind., mayor was pressed on the issue during a discussion [with] Father Edward Beck, a Roman Catholic priest and on-air faith and religion commentator for CNN.
Buttigieg said in response that “the idea that God wants somebody like Mike Pence to be the cheerleader for a president largely known for his association with hush money to adult-film actresses seems to me to give God very little credit.”
On April 7, Buttigieg gave a speech on gay rights where he again challenged Pence’s faith, echoing his February comments to Colbert:
“I can tell you, that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” he added, to a room full of loud cheers. “And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pence’s of the world could understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
On April 9, Pence’s press secretary tweeted out that the last time they remembered Pence talking about Buttigieg was when he came out in 2015. They noted Pence said at the time that “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot.”
REMEMBER: Pence himself at that point still had not responded.
But you wouldn’t know it by reading some of the media coverage. Here’s just a few examples of their headlines and reporting from this week:
- NBC News, Tuesday: Pence and GOP push back on Buttigieg’s criticism (Pence still had not commented)
- Also Tuesday, from People: Pete Buttigieg and Mike Pence Fued Over Gay Issues (they have since changed the headline)
- CNN tweet headline on Tuesday: The feud between Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vice President Mike Pence escalates.
- On Tuesday afternoon, Pence’s wife Karen defended her husband. Again, Pence himself had not said anything. The headline: Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, Pences trade barbs.
Mike Pence finally responded on Wednesday, April 10, about two months after the initial “war” began:
“He said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally. And he knows better. He knows me,” said Pence, who served as governor of Indiana when Buttigieg came out as gay during his reelection campaign for mayor.
Pence said that as governor, he “worked very closely with Mayor Pete” and that they “had a great working relationship.”
And now that Pence himself has weighed in, Buttigieg has gone silent:
When reached for comment on Pence’s remarks, a representative for Buttigieg’s campaign referred CNBC to the candidate’s previous statements.
Isn’t that just typical?
For the record, Pence is 100% right on his working relationship with Buttigieg (who Professor Jacobson calls “Mini B”). Free Beacon wrote about it in detail here.
What’s changed? Buttigieg will tell you it’s Pence’s allegiance to Trump. But what it really is about is that he’s running for president and needs to stand out. What better way than to dog Pence about his stance on LGBTQ rights? Buttigieg is smart enough to know that the mainstream media can’t get enough of badgering Republicans on their religious and social views as they pertain to gay marriage, even as the issue has already been decided by the Supreme Court.
That Pete Buttigieg has chosen to go after Pence is his right to do, but the mainstream media pretending this has been an ongoing organic “feud” between the two is laughable. Buttigieg got what he wanted out of this: A bigger national spotlight and more favorable press coverage. CNN, NBC, and other national media outlets were happy to do his bidding.
Don’t ever believe it when the mainstream media tells you “Reporters don’t root for a side.” They absolutely do, and this is a prime example.
–Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter.–DONATE
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