Buttigieg responds to Trump insult with Chinese proverb

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron Pressed on 2024, Buttigieg says 'we are squarely focused on the job at hand' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud MORE (D) responded with a Chinese proverb Thursday after President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE mocked his presidential campaign at a rally the night before.

Asked to comment at a press conference after Trump mocked Buttigieg's chances of winning the Democratic nomination, the mayor quoted a proverb while saying that he wasn't "too worried" about the president's insults.

"You can't get too worried about the name calling and the games he plays," said Buttigieg, one of more than 20 Democrats seeking the party's 2020 White House nomination. "I was thinking of a Chinese proverb that goes, when the wind changes, some people build walls and some people build windmills."

"You gotta recognize that we need something that is completely different from what is in this White House," Buttigieg continued. "The negotiations that they are conducting, whether it's on trade or things like North Korea, are usually a personal high-wire act with no safety net."

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On Wednesday, Trump made his first public comments about the 37-year-old presidential hopeful, who is currently polling in third place in multiple surveys, behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision Symone Sanders to leave the White House at the end of the year Briahna Joy Gray says Chris Cuomo will return to CNN following scandal MORE (I-Vt.).

"We have a young man, Buttigieg," Trump said in Florida, while mocking the pronunciation of the mayor's last name: "Boot-edge-edge. They say 'edge-edge.'"

"He’s got a great chance. He’ll be great. He’ll be great representing us against President Xi of China," he added, to laughs from audience. "That’ll be great."

Buttigieg has previously feuded with the White House over Vice President Pence's views on homosexuality. Pence, a conservative Christian, has responded dismissively to the criticism, while maintaining that he supported Buttigieg when the mayor came out in 2015.