"I think it's one example of why American moral authority, even today, is so important, because other models are being held up right now," Buttigieg, who married his husband Chasten last year, said in an interview with Van Jones on "The Van Jones Show" airing on CNN Saturday at 7 pm ET when asked about how other world leaders responded to America having a gay couple in the White House.
"When we show leadership, people responded, and that includes when we show up at an election we're inclusive country – whether that's about an LGBT leader or in some other way – that other country leaders would actually be some extent, forced by world opinion to make some advancements. It's one of the things that is right now if America is not trusted, is not respected, then it will be much better than what we have to say about or any other human rights issue, "the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said. 1
"The problem is normal was not working for a lot of people," he said.
Buttigieg, 37, said his background as a small-town may in a state of state allows him to reach voters – particularly in the industrial Midwest – in a different way than other candidates.
"They just haven't heard from us in a while. And I think coming from that country, as well as the generational background that I have – and the background of being a mayor, which just puts you in a different headspace, I think – than if you go to work in Washington every day, I think that just might create a way to reach people differently, "he said.
Buttigieg discussed diversity among the 2020 Democratic candidates and slammed Trump's rhetoric as sowing division in the country.
"Right now, the identity of means of division is being mastered at this White House. We are at a moment of peak white identity politics. And it's being used to divide us across the working middle class, divide us regionally, to divide us on partisan lines, "he said.
" It's harder to use political rhetoric to make people feel big-hearted and secure and forward-looking. But it can be done and then that's one of the reasons to get into this in the first place. "