"What I want her to know is that I'm running to be her president, too," he said on The View on Thursday
According to the video, taken during Monday night’s Democratic caucus, the woman objected to Buttigieg on religious grounds — even as a Buttigieg campaign worker tried to explain to her the value of equality.
“Well, what I want her to know is that I’m running to be her president, too,” he said, as the audience clapped and cheered. “Of course, I wish she was able to see that my love is the same as her love for those that she cares about, that my marriage means as much to me as hers if she’s married.”
“But if she can’t see that — and even if because she can’t see that, she won’t vote for me — I am still, if I am elected president, going to get up in the morning and try to make the best decisions for her and the people that she loves as I will work to serve every American, whether they supported me or not,” Buttigieg continued.
View panelist Joy Behar then asked him what he thought about the fact that the woman said she was acting based on her faith. Behar called it “religious bigotry, but they don’t see it that way.”
“Look, we all come at faith in a different way,” Buttigieg responded. “This is a country that belongs to people of every religion and of no religion, but I’ve been very open about my faith because I want to remind people that you don’t have to vote a certain way because of your faith. And if your faith guides you — I think at a time like this, what about: ‘I was hungry and you fed me’? What about, ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’? What about seeking leaders who walk in the way of humility and decency. Does your faith have anything to say about that?”
Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a Navy veteran, is the first major presidential candidate who is openly gay.
He launched his campaign last year with a fraction of the name recognition, financial backing or political connections.
“I certainly still have that sense of how improbable this all is,” Buttigieg told PEOPLE recently. “Again, that’s part of the point. I think, in an odd way, that’s also part of why we’re succeeding.”