Trump says he would vote for a gay president

President Donald Trump said in an interview Thursday that he would be open to voting for a gay candidate for president.

“Would Americans vote for a gay man to be president?” Fox News journalist Geraldo Rivera asked 40 minutes into an episode of his podcast, "Roadkill With Geraldo."

“I think so,” Trump said. “I think there would be some that wouldn't, and I wouldn't be among that group, to be honest with you.”

“I think that it doesn't seem to be hurting Pete ‘Boot-edge-edge,’” Trump said of the openly gay presidential contender, slowly using the phonetic pronunciation of the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s Maltese surname.

“But there would certainly be a group,” the president repeated, “that probably wouldn’t. But you and I would not be in that group.”

“We would not,” Rivera responded.

Related: Donald Trump holds a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan

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Donald Trump holds a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan
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Donald Trump holds a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan
BATTLE CREEK, USA - DECEMBER 18 : U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great Rally at Kellogg Arena on December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, USA - DECEMBER 18 : U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great Rally at Kellogg Arena on December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, USA - DECEMBER 18 : U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great Rally at Kellogg Arena on December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Mich., Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
BATTLE CREEK, USA - DECEMBER 18 : U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great Rally at Kellogg Arena on December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, USA - DECEMBER 18 : U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great Rally at Kellogg Arena on December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 18, 2019: President Donald Trump greets supporters as he enters the stage during a rally at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich., on December 18, 2019. (Brittany Greeson/ for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 18, 2019: Supporters sport a Trump t-shirt and a Santa Claus outfit as introductory remarks are made before a rally for President Trump at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich., on December 18, 2019. (Brittany Greeson/ for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 18, 2019: Laura Demint, 47, of West Olive, Mich., sports Trump earrings as she waits outside in freezing temperatures before a rally for President Trump at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich., on December 18, 2019. (Brittany Greeson/ for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 18, 2019: President Donald Trump says goodbye to supporters at the conclusion of his remarks during a rally at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich., on December 18, 2019. (Brittany Greeson/ for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 18, 2019: A volunteer watches from the stands as introductory remarks are made before a rally for President Trump at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich., on December 18, 2019. (Brittany Greeson/ for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, USA - DECEMBER 18 : U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great Rally at Kellogg Arena on December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 18, 2019: President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a rally at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich., on December 18, 2019. (Brittany Greeson/ for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 18, 2019: President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a rally at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich., on December 18, 2019. (Brittany Greeson/ for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Kellogg Arena, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Mich. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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Trump has lots of company: A 2019 Gallup poll found that 76 percent of Americans would vote for a gay or lesbian presidential candidate — just behind the 80 percent who said they would vote for an evangelical Christian. Other groups are rated as more acceptable: Over 90 percent of Americans said they would vote for a black, Catholic, Hispanic, female or Jewish candidate.

But there are groups less popular for electoral politics than gay people: Muslims, atheists, socialists, people over 70 and people under 40 (a group that includes Buttigieg, 38).

When Gallup began asking Americans about their willingness to vote for a gay or lesbian presidential candidate in 1978, just 26 percent said “yes.”

Last May, though, Trump complained on Twitter that Fox News was “wasting airtime on Mayor Pete.”

In that same thread, Trump made a prediction about Buttigieg, who he referred to using the name of the iconic Mad magazine cover boy: “Alfred E. Newman will never be President!”

By December, however, Trump appeared to marvel at Buttigieg’s unexpected success: “Can you believe he is doing well, he is like the leading fundraiser,” he said of Buttigieg during a 90-minute rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania. “I dream about him, it's true.”

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