Buttigieg on Trump: 'I'm a gay man from Indiana, I know how to deal with a bully'

Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) said as a gay man he knows how to "deal with a bully" when asked about potential attacks from President TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could MORE or other presidential candidates.

"I'm a gay man from Indiana, I know how to deal with a bully," he said in an interview with CNN.

The South Bend mayor and 2020 candidate also told host Katie Bolduan that he would try to ignore Trump during his presidential campaign.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In many ways, yes, because the problems that we are facing right now are going to grow with or without him,” the 37-year-old mayor said when asked if his goal was to ignore the president.

Buttigieg explained that he wants to refocus elections away from the individual candidates competing toward the people they would be elected to serve.

“I go right back to how our ideas are going to make lives better," he said.

"I think part of how we got here… was we had an election cycle where our candidate was talking about herself or she was talking about him. And a lot of people at home were saying, ok but who’s talking about me?”

Buttigieg, who previously served in the Navy, was first elected mayor in 2011 at age 29.

He joined a growing field of Democrats who have formed exploratory committees or expressed intent to run for president, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren's 'ultra wealth' tax is misleading Hillicon Valley: New York says goodbye to Amazon's HQ2 | AOC reacts: 'Anything is possible' | FTC pushes for record Facebook fine | Cyber threats to utilities on the rise O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOn The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation 2020 Dems slam Trump's plan to declare national emergency MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHillicon Valley: New York says goodbye to Amazon's HQ2 | AOC reacts: 'Anything is possible' | FTC pushes for record Facebook fine | Cyber threats to utilities on the rise O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation 2020 Dems slam Trump's plan to declare national emergency MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerO’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation 2020 Dems slam Trump's plan to declare national emergency NBC, CNN to host first two Democratic presidential primary debates MORE (D-N.J.).

When asked about the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, Buttigieg told CNN that he viewed them as competitors rather than opponents.

"I think when you're viewing others as opponents you're looking to find their weaknesses. When you're looking at competitors, you think about how everybody brings something to the table," he said.

"I'm definitely the only left-handed, Maltese-American, Episcopalian, millennial, gay mayor in the race. So I've got that lane all to myself."