South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is continuing to generate a stir in the US political scene with the expectation that Sunday he is to officially announce his presidential candidacy for the 2020 election.
Buttigieg, the 37-year-old Democratic presidential hopeful of Maltese descent, this week took time to appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and speak about his political ambitions.
Buttigieg, who is expected to officially announce his presidential candidacy on Sunday in South Bend, was asked by Ellen whether he would make the announcement on her show instead, but the mayor politely declined.
In an extensive conversation, Buttigieg and DeGeneres spoke about the candidate’s stances on a wide variety of issues, his recent war of words with Vice President Mike Pence, and his well-publicized ability to speak seven different languages.
The issue with Pence started when Buttigieg alluded to the Vice President having a problem with the gay mayor’s sexuality.
From there, the situation escalated quickly, with Pence’s wife Karen weighing in on the controversy and Pence himself replying to Buttigieg.
‘He said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally,’ Pence said of Buttigieg to CNBC’s Joe Kernen. ‘And he knows better.’
‘I’m not critical of his faith, I’m critical of bad policies. I don’t have a problem with religion, I’m religious too,’ replied Buttigieg, who’s a devout Episcopalian.
Buttigieg also made clear that he views the 2020 election as a potential turning point in the nation’s history, and said that he is up for the challenge.
At age 37, Buttigieg would be one of the youngest candidates in a massively crowded field if he does indeed jump into the race, but he discussed how his life experiences in the field of Naval Intelligence, and his experiences as the mayor of South Bend, have shaped his view of the world.
Of course, Buttigieg and DeGeneres had some spirited banter about other topics too, including one of the biggest obstacles some voters could face: how exactly to say his name.
“A month ago we were just trying to get people to be able to say my name,” Buttigieg said. “The good news for me is that elections are multiple choice so people don’t know how to spell it or say it.”
Buttigieg also told Ellen DeGeneres he’s open to nominate female Vice President if elected.