Pete Buttigieg has earned a particularly unexpected endorsement from Donald Trump.
Trump made an uninvited intervention into the Democratic primaries on Twitter, to show some surprising support for the gay former South Bend mayor.
Donald Trump says he can ‘live with’ Pete Buttigieg
The leader shared a tweet from Fox News commentator Eric Bolling, who wrote: “To be honest.. I’m 💯
@realDonaldTrump all the way.
“But… if I had to live in an America with one of the Dems as Potus at this point I believe it would be
“He seems smart, even tempered and as moderate as any on the stage. Holds his own with career pols.”
Trump wrote: “Eric, I can live with that!”
People are not buying Trump’s sudden love for Pete Buttigieg
Though we’re not sure Donald Trump is capable of pulling off any sort of Machiavellian plan, some Twitter users suggested the comment may have been specifically calculated to discredit Buttigieg in the eyes of primary voters, given he frequently faces loud criticism over his centre-left policies.
One commenter pointed out: “An endorsement by President Trump in the Democratic primary is the kiss of death.
“Why is everyone reading this so wrong? He wants to run against Sanders, so this tweeted approval of Buttigieg helps Sanders. C’mon everyone.”
Another added: “He’s either so ready to be retired or he’s just trolling everyone and wants Pete as the nominee. Don’t know which.”
One Buttigieg supporter wrote: “Pete broke Trump. This man, who has a comeback and a name and a taunt for literally every human he encounters, has no earthly clue what to do with Pete.”
Trump has grappled with the challenge of formulating an insult for Buttigieg, despite his tried-and-tested attacks on the other candidates.
At rallies, he had initially taken to calling Buttigieg “Alfred E. Neuman” – a reference to a wide-eyed Mad magazine mascot that is lost on pretty much everyone under the age of 70.
The first time Trump used the nickname, Buttigieg responded: “So, I’ll be honest, I had to Google that, I guess it’s a generational thing. I didn’t get the reference.
“It’s kinda funny, I guess, but he’s also the president of the United States and I’m surprised he’s not spending more time trying to salvage this China deal.”