President Donald Trump offered an over-the-top pronunciation of South Bend, Indiana, mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s name during a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida on Wednesday.
“We have a young man, Buttigieg,” Trump said in his speech. “Boot-EDGE-EDGE. They say ‘EDGE-EDGE.'”
Buttigieg says his last name is pronounced “BOOT-edge-edge,” however, his husband, Chasten, uses the phoenetic pronouncer “buddha-judge” or “boot-a-judge.”
Buttigieg’s name has confounded other celebrities — media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s playful nickname for the 2020 candidate is “Buttabeep, Buttaboop.”
Buttigieg says he’s used to the confusion: “Most people have trouble pronouncing my name, so they just call me “Mayor Pete,” he wrote in a Medium post in 2016. “My surname, Buttigieg (Boot-edge-edge), is very common in my father’s country of origin, the tiny island of Malta, and nowhere else.”
After getting through the pronunciation of his name, Trump went on to downplay Buttigieg’s foreign-policy experience in his speech.
“He’s got a great chance doesn’t he,” Trump said. “He’ll be great, he’ll be great. Representing us against President Xi of China. That’ll be great, that’ll be great. I want to be in that room, I want to watch that one.”
Prior to becoming mayor, Buttigieg was a US Navy intelligence officer, graduated from Oxford University with a degree in politics, worked in a multinational consulting firm, and can speak seven languages.