God doesn't belong to a political party, but if He did, He probably wouldn't be a Republican, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said while discussing the importance of religion in his life and candidacy during an interview airing Tuesday.
"It's important to me," the South Bend, Indiana mayor told NBC's Craig Melvin during an interview airing on NBC's "Today." "I think it's also important that we stop seeing religion used as a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party. If he did, I can't imagine it would be the one that sent the current president to the White House."
Buttigieg also addressed questions on whether he is too young, at 37, or too inexperienced to be elected president, telling Melvin that he has more governmental experience than President Donald Trump and more executive governmental experience than Vice President Mike Pence.
Buttigieg added that he's not concerned that Trump may call him a "low-energy" candidate like he did former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during the 2016 election.
"There is going to be a temptation to kind of play his game," Buttigieg said. "If you play his game, you are losing. Who is going to play his game better than he does? So we have to do something completely different."
He further commented on the hecklers he's met on the campaign trail, who are taunting him because he is openly gay.
"In politics, you see the good, bad, and ugly," he said. "It happens for any candidate. It's not like I enjoy it but I have a responsibility to keep the focus on what we are trying to do."
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