Pence told allies Buttigieg should have raised concerns privately: report

Vice President Pence has reportedly pushed back privately against South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet MORE's recent statements that questioned how religious faith has shaped the former Indiana governor's views on gay rights.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Pence has privately told associates in recent days that Buttigieg should have come to him directly with any questions about the vice president's religious beliefs.

Pence and Buttigieg had a friendly working relationship when they were both in Indiana, according to the Times.

Buttigieg recently attacked Pence's views about being gay in widely reported comments.

"Speaking only for myself, 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," Buttigieg said on Sunday.

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"And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand," he continued. "If you’ve got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."

Pence's office has accused the mayor of misrepresenting Pence's views on gay rights and LGBT Americans, while resurfacing comments the vice president made in support of Buttigieg after the mayor revealed that he was gay in 2015.

“I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot," Pence says in a video clip tweeted by his spokesman Alyssa Farah, on Tuesday.

The vice president also responded directly to Buttigieg in an interview set to air Thursday on CNBC.

“He said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally. And he knows better. He knows me,” Pence said of the mayor.

Other members of Pence's family have also pushed back against Buttigieg, who is pursuing a bid for the presidency in 2020.

Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta resigns amid controversy over Epstein plea deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to tamp down Dem infighting MORE, his wife, said this week that Buttigieg and others should not attack Americans for their religious beliefs and accused Buttigieg of using her husband to gain notoriety in the Democratic Party primary.