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Buttigieg responds to Trump insult with Chinese proverb

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegJuan Williams: Clyburn is my choice as politician of the year 'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' MORE (D) responded with a Chinese proverb Thursday after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds 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 BidenLawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list GOP lawmaker blasts incoming freshman over allegations of presidential voter fraud Haaland has competition to be first Native American to lead Interior  MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFormer Sanders press secretary: 'Principal concern' of Biden appointments should be policy DeVos knocks free college push as 'socialist takeover of higher education' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump 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.