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Gay Presidential Hopeful Pete Buttigieg Disagrees With Chick-fil-A’s Politics but Digs the Sandwiches

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana had a thoughtful response to a question about the chain this morning

Buttigieg photo via Getty/Alex Wong; Chick-fil-A photo via Jenny G. Zhang.
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During his whirlwind tour of New York this week, openly gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg — aka “Mayor Pete” — stopped by popular syndicated radio program the Breakfast Club to talk with hosts Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God about a wide range of topics including his stance on conservative-leaning chicken sandwich purveyor Chick-fil-A.

The question about the chain — which, according to recent reports, donated $1.8 million to anti-LGBTQ organizations in 2017 — was preceded by a discussion of Eminem, a rapper whose work the mayor from South Bend, Indiana, admires despite past homophobic lyrics. Riffing on a similar theme, Charlamagne asked Mayor Pete if he liked Chick-fil-A. “I do not approve of their politics, but I kind of approve of their chicken,” Buttigieg replied. “So maybe if nothing else, I can build that bridge. Maybe I’ll become in a position to broker that peace deal.”

Charlamagne clearly liked this answer, telling the politician, “We just live in this era of extremes, and people can’t see the nuance in things anymore.” Buttigieg then shared his philosophy on approaching people with different ideologies in general:

We’ve got to find a way to use our identities to reach other people. To me there’s two things that can happen when you are conscious of your identity. One is it turns into all these ways we separate ourselves from each other, and it just turns into one big “You don’t know me.” But the other way we can do it is to say, “Okay, I’ve got this experience, you’ve got that experience, what can we talk about that brings us together?” Because I have no clue what it’s like to walk in the shoes of so many other people. But I can talk about some of the pieces of what I carry with me, and see if it rhymes with their life experience. And I think good art has that, good music has that, good literature has that.

At this point in their conversation, Charlamagne blurted out “good chicken sandwiches,” and Buttigieg didn’t miss a beat. “Good chicken sandwiches, and good politics,” the politician said. “Good politics ought to have that quality too. And I think we’ve got to get back to that before this current presidency just completely tears us apart.”

According to a recent poll of the Iowa caucus, Buttigieg ranks third among Democrats who have announced presidential bids. Perhaps if he wins — or even comes close to winning — he can sit down with the leaders of America’s favorite fried chicken sandwich chain and convince them to stop donating to groups with anti-LGBTQ agendas for once and for all.

Here’s the Breakfast Club interview in its entirety (the Chick-fil-A conversation starts at the 17:00 mark):