"What I want her to know is that I'm running to be her president, too," he said on The View on Thursday

By Adam Carlson
February 06, 2020 05:47 PM

Earlier this week, an Iowa woman was seen in a viral video changing her mind about voting for presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg when she found out he is gay.

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.

Nonetheless, Buttigieg, 38, emerged from Monday’s caucus as one of the leading candidates in the Democratic primary race. (The final numbers, controversially, were still be counted as of Thursday.)

Appearing on The View on Thursday, Buttigieg was asked by co-host Sunny Hostin about the homophobic voter and what he would say “to her and voters who feel the way that she does.”

“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.”

RELATED: Pete Buttigieg, Who Could Be the First Openly Gay President, Faces Anti-Gay Heckling at Iowa Rally — See His Response

Pete Buttigieg
DEREK HENKLE/AFP/Getty

“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?”

Pete Buttigieg (left) with his husband, Chasten
KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP/Getty

RELATED: Inside Pete Buttigieg’s World as He Tries to Make History Running for President

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.

Following his success in Iowa, his path to the nomination lies through states where he is polling behind rivals such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“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.”

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