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 TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates 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.

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“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 WarrenTrump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates Amazon warehouse workers strike on Prime Day Elizabeth Warren backs Amazon workers striking on Prime Day MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke 2020 Democrats upend digital campaign playbook Gillibrand speaks of how she benefits from white privilege MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates Judd Gregg: Counting the costs of Democrats' desires Buttigieg: 'Medicare for all,' free college tuition are 'questionable on their merits' MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker prison reform bill would give older prisoners a 'second look' Booker to unveil plan for older Americans' long-term health care: report Judd Gregg: Counting the costs of Democrats' desires 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."