(EDGE) South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay and is exploring a run for president, stopped by CNN's "News Day" program about his possible 2020 campaign as well as his thoughts about Vice President Mike Pence, who once served as Indiana's governor.
"He genuinely believes things that most of us would consider really far out," he said. "He's written that he thinks that cigarettes don't kill. He seems to believe people like me just get up and decide to be gay.
"His worldview is one that is way out of step with the American mainstream," Buttigieg added.
Buttigieg went on to talk about Pence signing into law the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say allows discrimination against LGBTQ people.
"We saw that in Indiana when he really embarrassed our state with policies that both Democrats and Republicans in not just the political world but the business community stepped up and said, 'Hey you're making us look like a backward place at just the moment we're trying to advance,'" he said. "Unfortunately he now has a stage for some of those fanatical social ideas."
In a number of interviews, Buttigieg has been asked if America is ready for an openly gay president. Speaking on CNN he said he understands there is "a historic quality to this candidacy if and when we run."
"But what I learned in the process in South Bend when I got reelected with 80% of the vote is that most people just care if you are going to do a good job or not," he said.
Watch the interview below.
Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg says Vice President Mike Pence “embarrassed” the state: “He seems to believe people like me just get up and decide to be gay. His worldview is one that is way out of step with the American mainstream.” https://t.co/9kI6szwyme pic.twitter.com/W6qWl6QX3v— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 14, 2019