Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who’s multilingual, offered his condolences in French, following a massive fire at the historic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday.
Speaking to French-language news channel BFMTV on Monday evening, Buttigieg addressed the people of France and spoke about the cultural significance of the cathedral.
“To the people of France, I would like to say that Notre Dame Cathedral was like a gift to the human race. We share in the pain but we also thank you for this gift to civilization,” he said to the channel.
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who officially announced his 2020 presidential campaign on Sunday, speaks seven languages.
Buttigieg received praise on social media for his comments on Notre Dame.
Even Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the US, weighed in.
The Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the most iconic monuments in Paris, caught fire on Monday. The flames caused major damage, and it remains unclear how the building caught fire. The blaze was said to be contained by early Tuesday.
Several politicians, including President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and European Council President Donald Tusk spoke out following the devastating fire.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted a message of unity on Monday night: “We will rebuild it. All together.”
Though considered by some to be a longshot candidate, Buttigieg has gained a reputation as “the millennial candidate” and may have a chance at chipping away at some of front-runner Bernie Sanders’ strong support from young voters, according to a new poll.