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Pete Buttigieg: ‘Let’s debate family values, I’m ready’

At a town hall, the former mayor swiped at President Donald Trump and conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, responding to the latter’s homophobic remarks.

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign event in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.
Matt York, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — At a CNN town hall in Nevada Tuesday, Pete Buttigieg was asked to respond to homophobic remarks made by Rush Limbaugh and Limbaugh’s account that President Donald Trump told him not to apologize.

“The idea of the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Donald Trump lecturing anybody on family values,” the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor said to applause. “I mean, I’m sorry but one thing about my marriage is it’s never involved me having to send hush money to a porn star after cheating on my spouse, with him or her.”

“So, if they want to debate family values, let’s debate family values, I’m ready,” Buttigieg said.

A week ago — and eight days after being award the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump — Limbaugh spoke on his conservative talk show about Democrats selecting a gay man as presidential candidate.

“OK. How’s this gonna look, a 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to Mr. Man, Donald Trump? What’s gonna happen there?” Limbaugh said.

“They’ve gotta be saying that despite all the great progress, and despite all the great wokeness, and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president.”

“Have fun envisioning that,” Limbaugh added sarcastically.

Trump said he could support a gay presidential candidate last week in an interview with Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera. At the the town hall Tuesday, Buttigieg said he didn’t believe the president if Trump continues to “send out his supporters to talk in this way,” referring to Limbaugh.

According to the White House, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor awarded to a civilian that has “made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”