Story at a glance

  • “I’m not running to be the gay president of the United States, or the president of the gay United States,” Buttigieg said.
  • The 38-year-old is the first openly gay major Democratic presidential candidate.
  • He also received the endorsement of The State, a newspaper based in Columbia, S.C., days before the South Carolina primary.

Democratic presidential hopeful and former mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg said Monday during a CNN town hall that he wants to serve the entire country as president and not just be “the gay president of the United States.” 

“I’m not running to be the gay president of the United States, or the president of the gay United States,” Buttigieg said while speaking with CNN host Don Lemon during the event in Charleston, S.C. 

“I’m out here to serve everybody,” he said.

Buttigieg, who has made history as the first openly gay major Democratic presidential candidate, also spoke about a recent campaign rally in Denver where a 9-year-old boy asked him for advice on how to come out as a gay male. 

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The former mayor of South Bend, Ind., called the exchange “emotional” and “extraordinary,” saying he’s met people who have a sense of who they are, “so much earlier in life than I did.” 

“I was wrestling with this well into my 20s,” he said.

Buttigieg also received the endorsement Monday night from The State, a newspaper based in Columbia, S.C., just days before the South Carolina primary. 

The State’s editorial board said the millennial mayor has an “outsider’s appeal” that will give Democrats their best shot at beating President Trump in November.

Published on Feb 25, 2020