Gay presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has said he is “almost certain” that there has already been a gay US president.
If elected, the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would be America’s first openly gay president but Buttigieg said in an interview for Axios on HBO that he believes there have been closeted presidents before him.
He was asked in the interview: “If you were to win the nomination, they’ll say you’re too young, too liberal, too gay to be commander in chief. You are young, you are liberal, you are gay. How will you respond?”
Buttigieg replied: “I will respond by explaining where I want to lead this country. People will elect the person who will make the best president, and we have had excellent presidents who have been young, we have had excellent presidents who have been liberal.
“I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay, we just didn’t know which ones.”
Pete Buttigieg said his ‘gaydar’ was not good enough to tell which former presidents had been gay
Buttigieg said that “statistically, it’s almost certain,” but he is not sure which historical presidents were gay.
“My gaydar even doesn’t work that well in the present, let alone retroactively,” he continued. “But one can only assume that’s the case.”
However, being young and gay may be in Buttigieg’s favour, as according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll US voters are more likely to say they would reject an older presidential candidate than a candidate who is gay.
It found that 48 percent of US voters were less likely to support a presidential candidate who is older than 70, while 34 percent were less likely to vote for someone who is gay.