Buttigieg responds to Trump insult with Chinese proverb

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegNashville radio host blocked by employer from airing his interview with Buttigieg Buttigieg says white supremacy could be 'issue that ends this country' Biden's lead narrows in early voting states: poll MORE (D) responded with a Chinese proverb Thursday after President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' 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."


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 BidenUkrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Biden campaign taps foreign policy vet Nicholas Burns as adviser: report MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders'Medicare for All': The hype v. Maryland's reality Biden says he supports paying campaign staff minimum wage Biden's lead narrows in early voting states: poll 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.