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Pete Buttigieg defends his marriage: "It's never involved me having to send hush money to a porn star"

Buttigieg brushes off homophobic remarks
Buttigieg brushes off homophobic remarks 05:55

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg hit back at conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh after he made homophobic remarks last week on his show. During a CNN town hall in Nevada on Tuesday night, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said he's willing to debate "family values" against Limbaugh or President Trump, who awarded Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Honor during the State of the Union earlier this month. 

CNN's Erin Burnett was discussing the comments from Limbaugh, who said America's "not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband." She then mentioned Limbaugh said on his show that Mr. Trump told him to "never apologize" for his remarks against Buttigieg. 

Buttigieg, who is gay and married, brushed off Limbaugh's comments on Sunday, but on Tuesday, he further dismissed any notion of morality coming from him or Mr. Trump. "The idea of the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Donald Trump lecturing anybody on family values?" he said. "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."

"They want to debate family values, let's debate family values," he added. "Let's do it."

Limbaugh has been divorced three times and is currently married to his fourth wife, while Mr. Trump has been divorced twice and is currently married to his third wife. Buttigieg also referenced allegations by federal prosecutors that Mr. Trump directed his personal lawyer in 2016 to arrange payments to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels, who has alleged she had an affair with Mr. Trump in 2006. 

Mr. Trump said on Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera's podcast "Roadkill With Geraldo" that he would be willing to support a gay presidential candidate. Buttigieg told Burnett he had a hard time believing that. 

"Not if he's sending out his supporters to talk in this way," he said, referring to Limbaugh. 

Buttigieg: Trump’s behavior isn't compatible with Scripture | CNN Town Hall by CNN on YouTube

While discussing the leading Democrats in the 2020 presidential race, Limbaugh wondered last week how some would fare against Mr. Trump in a debate. Limbaugh suggested Buttigieg wouldn't look as masculine facing Mr. Trump because he "loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage."   

Limbaugh, who has had a long history of making inflammatory comments on the air, was awarded with the highest civilian honor during the president's State of the Union address earlier this month. A day before, Limbaugh announced he had advanced lung cancer.

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