Buttigieg: I don't know 'what's in his heart' but Pence 'advances homophobic policies'

Buttigieg: I don't know 'what's in his heart' but Pence 'advances homophobic policies'
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Democratic presidential hopeful Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg: We 'probably are' on cusp of recession Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' Fighter pilot vs. astronaut match-up in Arizona could determine control of Senate MORE on Friday doubled down on his criticism of Vice President Pence over Pence's record on LGBT issues.

When asked by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt whether he really believes that Pence is "homophobic," the South Bend, Ind., mayor said that the vice president has pushed policies that hurt the gay community.

"He advances homophobic policies," Buttigieg, who is openly gay, said of the former Indiana governor in the interview. "I don’t know what’s in his heart."

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"Look at the fact that he, to this day, cannot bring himself to say that it shouldn’t be legal to discriminate against people who are gay, or that I should have been allowed to serve and put my life on the line in the military, as I was, even though he said very nice things about my service," the Afghanistan War veteran added.

Buttigieg pointed to the impact of certain policies, regardless of the personal feelings of those who advocate them.

"If you’re in public office and you advance homophobic policies, on some level it doesn’t matter whether you do that out of political calculation or whether you do it out of sincere belief. The problem is it’s hurting other people," he said. 

Pence said in an interview with Fox News recently that if Buttigieg wins the Democratic presidential nomination "we'll have a lot more to say about him" while noting that when they both served in political office in Indiana they had "a good relationship."

"And, look, you know, I wish him well," Pence said, adding in the interview that he was troubled by Buttigieg's "assertion and others’ assertion that was critical of people of our religious beliefs, broadly." 

Buttigieg and Pence have previously feuded over LGBT rights. Pence has said Buttigieg "knows I don't have a problem with him" and has considered Buttigieg a friend. 

"I don't believe in discrimination against anybody. I treat everybody how I want to be treated," he said in a CNN interview last month. "The truth of it is, all of us have our own religious convictions. Pete has his convictions, I have mine."

Buttigieg has said that he is not critical of Pence's faith, but rather of his "bad policies."

The Indiana mayor is among two dozen people competing for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination.