Buttigieg’s ‘Real Moral Authority’ Could Make Him A ‘Surprise’ Front-Runner, Strategist Says

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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A Democratic strategist praised South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s “real moral authority,” predicting that Buttigieg could be a “surprise” front-runner.

Former Clinton administration staffer Michael Gordon said Buttigieg’s performance at Tuesday night’s debate stood out from other presidential candidates and that the Democratic mayor “definitely got more aggressive,” Newsweek reported Thursday. Gordon is the chief executive of strategic communications at Group Gordon.

“You could picture him more going toe-to-toe with [President Donald] Trump,” Gordon told Newsweek. “He has a real moral authority in the way he talks, so he’s someone … who could surprise in, like Iowa.”

Gordon recognized that former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren currently lead the Democratic 2020 field; however, “a Buttigieg or someone else could surprise,” he said. (RELATED: Buttigieg Speaks Out On LGBTQ Teaching In Christianity: ‘It Makes God Smaller’)

Pete Buttigieg, South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful, speaks at a campaign event at Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage - RC12D7A9A050

Pete Buttigieg, South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful, speaks at a campaign event at Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. Sept. 24, 2019. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage.

“It’s hard to picture a Buttigieg or someone getting into that frontrunner status before the voting begins,” Gordon said. “But we should keep our eyes on the polls and see if anything like that changes.”

Buttigieg zoned in on the Christian faith’s compatibility with LGBTQ issues at CNN’s LGBTQ forum on Oct. 10 where he said Christians who use their religious beliefs against LGBTQ people make “God smaller.”

“It’s also the case that any freedom that we honor in this country has limits when it comes to harming other people,” Buttigieg said. “We say that the right to free speech does not include the right to yell, ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater. A famous justice once said my right to swing my fist ends where somebody else’s nose begins, and the right to religious freedom ends where religion is being used as an excuse to harm other people.”

“I also have to say … when religion is used in that way, to me, it makes God smaller,” Buttigieg added. “It to me is an insult not only to us as LGBTQ people, but I think it’s an insult to faith to believe that it could be used to hurt people in that way.”

Buttigieg has also drawn on the Bible to suggest that unborn babies can be aborted up until they draw their first breath. (RELATED: Buttigieg Draws On Bible, Suggests Unborn Babies Can Be Aborted Up Until Their First Breath)“There’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath, and so even that is something that we can interpret differently,” the South Bend mayor said in September.

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