Pete Buttigieg accused Ron DeSantis of ‘competing’ with Donald Trump over who can hurt the LGBTQ community the most while torching his campaign video marking the end of Pride Month.
The transportation secretary criticized the Florida governor for trying to “prove his manhood” with a video comparing him to an “oiled bodybuilder” and Leonardo DiCaprio portraying the infamous Jordan Belfort on Wolf of Wall Street.
“I just don’t understand the mindset of someone who wakes up in the morning thinking they’re going to prove themselves by competing over who can make life more difficult for a hard-hit community that is already so vulnerable in America,” Buttigieg said. in an interview with CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning.
Buttigieg, who ran in the 2020 Democratic primary before being hired into the Biden administration, is gay and has been married to husband Chasten since 2018. The couple adopted twins in August 2021.
DeSantis’ campaign was accused of homophobia after tweeting a video highlighting Trump’s support for the LGBTQ community, contrasting it with a montage of the governor’s policies that critics have dismissed as anti-gay.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over his campaign video ‘competing’ with Trump ‘over who can make life harder’ for the LGBTQ community
“I’m going to choose my words carefully, partly because I’m appearing as a secretary, so I can’t talk about campaigning,” Buttigieg told CNN, referring to the “weirdness of trying to prove your manhood by posting a video that splices together images of you among bodybuilders. oiled up and shirtless
The video shows Trump vowing to protect LGBTQ citizens, saying Caitlyn Jenner could use any bathroom she chooses inside Trump Tower and welcoming trans contestants in Miss Universe. After the footage of Trump, the video cuts to a montage of DeSantis walking in a “manly” manner across the screen, set to a thumping, bass-heavy soundtrack.
Headlines flash across the screen detailing how DeSantis signed the ‘most extreme list of anti-trans laws in modern history’ and banned drag performances from schools.
“You know, I’ll choose my words carefully, partly because I’m listed as a secretary, so I can’t talk about campaigning,” Buttigieg told CNN anchor Dana Bash in response to the video.
“I’m going to put aside the weirdness of trying to prove your manhood by posting a video that splices footage of you between shirtless and oiled up bodybuilders, and just get to the biggest issue on my mind every time I see this.” things in the political space,’ she added. ‘Which is, again, who are you trying to help? Who are you trying to make better? And what public policy problems do you wake up in the morning thinking about how to solve them?’
Biden’s transportation secretary insisted: “We are focused as an administration on how to get things done and make people better off.”
DeSantis’ new campaign video aired the same day he and Trump were in Philadelphia for a Moms for Freedom rally, at which a Trump supporter described his 44-year-old rival as a Trump “imitation.”
Clips from the video include a smiling DeSantis interspersed with footage of Christian Bale as a serial killer in American Psycho, references to The Wolf of Wall Street and footage of Brad Pitt in the movie Troy.
Buttigieg is gay and has been married to his husband Chasten since 2018, the two adopted twins in August 2021.
Donald Trump is seen in the clip at the Republican National Convention in July 2016, referencing the horror of the Pulse nightclub shooting the previous month and vowing to protect the LGBTQ population.
Trump greets Caitlyn Jenner and tells her she could use any bathroom she chooses in Trump Tower
A pro-Trump drag queen dressed as ‘Lady MAGA’ is seen expressing her support for the then-candidate.
DeSantis’ campaign celebrated in the video his laws in Florida that critics called anti-LGBTQ, and criticized Trump for promoting the agenda of “wake up” the LGBTQ community.
The video comes as polls for DeSantis remain stubbornly low, with Trump significantly ahead among primary voters.
A YouGov poll for The Economist conducted June 24-27 gave Trump a 27-point lead over the Florida governor.
Trump was at 52 percent and DeSantis at 25 percent.
On Friday, Trump and DeSantis were in Philadelphia, trying to pass each other on the right.
Trump told the crowd at the Moms for Liberty group that he would “remove all diversity, equity and inclusion programs across the entire federal government.”
DeSantis has vowed to federally enact his Florida policies on LGBTQ discussions in schools and restrooms.
“What we’ve seen in this country in recent years has awakened the most powerful political force in this country: the mama bears,” he told the crowd of hundreds to applause.
“We have done a lot on these issues in Florida, and I will do all of this as the next president.”
But his message has not yet resonated.
Assistant Alexis Spiegelman of Sarasota, Florida, told the New York Times that she felt DeSantis was simply a knockoff of the former Apprentice host.
“I just don’t know why we would want an imitation when we have the real, authentic Trump,” he said.
DeSantis is seen Friday addressing the Moms for Freedom rally in Philadelphia
DeSantis is shown in campaign ad rejecting support for the LGBTQ community championed by Trump
Video showed DeSantis signing anti-trans laws
The clip promoted DeSantis’ policies against the LGBTQ community.
Alexis Spiegelman, who runs the Moms for Liberty chapter in Sarasota, Florida, said The New York Times: ‘I just don’t know why we would want an imitation when we have the real, authentic Trump.’
DeSantis’ strategy of trying to position himself to the right of Trump was also questioned by Republican strategists.
“Consultants who think this kind of ‘run to Trump’s right’ is going to be effective should be fired,” said Sarah Longwell, chief executive of conservative firm Longwell Partners.
Andrew Clark, a Republican strategist who worked on Trump’s 2020 campaign, said DeSantis promoting himself as someone who will roll back LGBTQ rights was a bad election approach.
“So many problems with this video,” he tweeted.
“Mostly, Trump’s opening line saying ‘I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens’ as if it was a huge success.
‘Is DeSantis opposed to protecting LGBTQ citizens?
“I got the message you were looking for, but damn it, it’s not this.”
Chadwick Moore, contributing editor of The Spectator, said: “This ad is a completely unnecessary and completely ill-conceived slap in the face for a lot of people.” Really stupid who approved this. Extremely dumb.
Former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said: ‘So Desantis thinks this is going to work? I really doubt it.
“Outrage after outrage is the only way these guys know how to campaign.”
Greg Kelly, the flame-throwing Newsmax host, said DeSantis was wrong to bring Caitlyn Jenner into his campaign, defending her as a true Republican and someone to respect.
‘WOW! Ron DeSantis desperately attacks CAITLYN JENNER: What’s Ron’s problem? Kelly tweeted.
‘CAITLYN JENNER stands strong AGAINST sexualizing children, she is FOR protecting biological WOMEN in sports. ‘Ron’ is WRONG about MAGA if he thinks SEARCHING for Caitlyn is cool. SORRY RON!’
And Ric Grenell, the first openly gay person to serve in a presidential cabinet, who was briefly Trump’s acting director of National Intelligence, said: “This is undeniably homophobic.”