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 TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report 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 WarrenHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements CNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris to pitch using federal funds to give teachers pay raises Dem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Here's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Booker endorses New Jersey marijuana legalization bill 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."