Conservative radio host Chandelle Summer is facing a backlash after criticizing South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) on Sunday for “making his gayness an issue” in the 2020 presidential race by kissing his husband.
The Indiana mayor affectionately embraced his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, on stage after officially announcing his candidacy on April 14.
“Clearly Pete Buttigieg has made his gayness an issue in this campaign. He’s brought his husband up on stage. They shared a kiss during his announcement,” Summer said to MSNBC anchor Kendis Gibson. “I think he made it a huge issue. He talked about his spouse, Chasten, and the fact that they were married.”
“This is not a typical candidate. He made it an issue,” Summer added. “He could have ignored it. He could have said nothing. And people would speculate about it. But he made it an issue.”
MSNBC anchor Kendis Gibson challenged Summer, pointing out: “He’s made his gayness an issue as much as a straight couple has made their straightness an issue. He barely mentioned he was a gay person during his speech to declare his candidacy.”
Here's the other guest, Chandelle Summer, saying that @PeteButtigieg "made his gayness an issue in this campaign" by inviting @Chas10Buttigieg to the stage and sharing a kiss with him. "He could've said nothing and people would speculate about it, but he made it an issue." 🤔 pic.twitter.com/MCDdFRPzzU
— Matthew Vines (@VinesMatthew) April 28, 2019
The Buttigiegs met on a dating app in 2015 and were married in 2018.
Chasten, 29, a junior high school humanities and drama teacher from Michigan, also serves as a campaign spokesman and adviser to the Afghan War veteran and Rhodes scholar.
Buttigieg campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith condemned Summer in a Sunday tweet, calling the commentary one of the “craziest and most offensive” segments she had seen on the left-leaning MSNBC.
Not really one for media commentary, but why on earth is @MSNBC and @kendisgibson giving a platform to a not even veiled homophobe like Chandelle Summer? That was like craziest and most offensive 5 mins I’ve seen on @Msnbc in awhile.
— Lis Smith (@Lis_Smith) April 28, 2019