Home Politics Mayor Pete tries to have it both ways on God's political party – CNN

Mayor Pete tries to have it both ways on God's political party – CNN

13 min read

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has had a pretty remarkable run over the last few months in the 2020 presidential race. He’s gone from nowhere to the top tier largely on the strength of his fresh-faced appeal (he’s 37) and strong personal story (he’s a military veteran and a Rhodes scholar).
But to date, Buttigieg hasn’t faced a ton of scrutiny for his views or his statements. Which brings me to Mayor Pete’s interview on NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday — and his answer to a question about his faith and politics.
“It’s important that we stop seeing religion used as a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party,” Buttigieg told NBC’s Craig Melvin. “If it did, I can’t imagine it would be the one that sent the current President into the White House.”
The first part of that quote is fine — and the sort of stuff that Buttigieg has said a lot on the campaign trail as he seeks to reclaim religion as an issue Democrats can talk about.
It’s the second part of the quote — the part about God not being a Republican — that’s problematic for Buttigieg. Because he’s trying to have it both ways. Either God is off-limits from politics or he’s not. You can’t claim that Republicans have been playing politics with religion for years and need to stop and then immediately follow that up by doing the exact same thing.

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It’s not clear how much flack Buttigieg will take for his “God” comments. But it should serve, at a minimum, as a warning for his fledgling campaign that comments like these, from someone in the elevated place in the race where Buttigieg finds himself, can cause BIG problems.
The Point: Buttigieg’s honeymoon won’t last forever. And this may be the beginning of its end.

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