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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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 Ann WarrenThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection Feehery: A whole new season of 'Game of Thrones' Overnight Energy: Warren wants Dems to hold climate-focused debate | Klobuchar joins candidates rejecting fossil fuel money | 2020 contender Bennet offers climate plan MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandO'Rourke says he would 'absolutely' do Fox News town hall Gillibrand 'very unhappy' with 'Game of Thrones' finale Gillibrand endorses DC statehood: Democracy doesn't mean 'for some of us' MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection California Democrats face crisis of credibility after lawsuits Feehery: A whole new season of 'Game of Thrones' MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' Sanders pledges to only nominate Supreme Court justices that support Roe v. Wade From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam 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."