Buttigieg: 'Can't imagine' God sent Trump to the White House

Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Buttigieg unveils plan to strengthen mental health care, fight addiction MORE said he "can't imagine" that God sent President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE to the White House. 

“I think it’s also important that we stop seeing religion used as a kind-of cudgel, as if God belonged to a political party,” the South Bend, Ind., mayor told "Today."

“And if he did, I can’t imagine it would be the one that sent the current president into the White House,” added Buttigieg, who has been outspoken about his Episcopalian faith on the campaign trail. 

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His remarks echo a statement during a CNN town hall in which he asserted that God does not have a political party

"I get that one of the things about scripture is different people see different things in it," he said last month. "But, at the very least we should be able to establish that God does not have a political party."

Buttigieg has also accused evangelical Christians who support Trump of "hypocrisy."

"Here you have somebody who not only acts in a way that is not consistent with anything that I hear in scripture or in church, where it’s about lifting up the least among us and taking care of strangers, which is another word for immigrants, and making sure that you’re focusing your effort on the poor," he said in April. 

He has also feuded with Vice President Pence over religion, particularly relating to Pence's anti-gay stances. 

“The vice president is entitled to his religious beliefs," said Buttigieg, who is gay. "My problem is when those religious beliefs are used as an excuse to harm other people.” 

Buttigieg is among more than 20 people competing for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination. Once a long-shot candidate, he has recently risen in the crowded field.