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 TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump 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.


“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 WarrenDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? Alito to far-right litigants: The buffet is open MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration Trump campaign appeals dismissal of Pennsylvania election challenge Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' 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."