Rush Limbaugh hinted that “Mr. Man, Donald Trump” will “have fun” with Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg’s sexuality in a hypothetical general election matchup between Trump and the openly gay former South Bend, Indiana mayor.
Limbaugh made the remarks while discussing the results of the recent New Hampshire Democratic primary, where Buttigieg came in a close second place behind Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. In an apparent prediction of Trump’s strategy for the general election, Limbaugh said that the president would mock Buttigieg’s relationship with his husband.
“So you’re faced with dyed-in-the-wool socialist who’s not even a Democrat,” Limbaugh said, via The Daily Beast. “A gay guy, 37 years old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages. Can you see Trump have fun with that?”
Limbaugh went on to say that Americans may not be ready to elect an openly gay candidate and hinted that Buttigieg, an Afghanistan veteran, would look emasculated next to Trump.
“They’re sitting there and they’re looking at Mayor Pete, 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage,” Limbaugh said.
“And they’re saying, ‘OK, how’s this going to look, 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What’s going to happen there?'”
Buttigieg had fallen behind in polling leading up to the start of the Democratic primary but has risen to the top of the pack with a win in the Iowa caucus. He followed that with a close finish behind Sanders in New Hampshire, where some polls had shown him behind as much as 10 points.
Trump’s relationship with Limbaugh has come under fire since the president’s surprise announcement during the State of the Union address that he was awarding the conservative radio host with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. The medal is awarded to those who have made “exceptional contributions” to national interests or security, made efforts to promote world peace, or had a significant cultural impact. The award has been given to a number of civil rights leaders and other notable figures, including Rosa Parks, Billy Graham, Muhammad Ali, Nancy Reagan, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Trump’s decision to award the medal to Limbaugh was criticized by those who highlighted the talk show host’s long history of making racially incendiary remarks. The award was also given just days after Limbaugh announced that he had been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer and would need to miss some time on his show while undergoing treatments.