South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg quoted scripture during the second Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday to attack Republican senators for blocking a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15.
"This is so much bigger than a trade fight. This is about a moment when the economy is changing before our eyes. There are people in economy who go through more jobs in a week than my parents went through in the lifetime. It's why I've proposed we allow gig workers to unionize, because a gig is a job and a worker is a worker. We have to respond to these changes and, in addition to confronting tech, in addition to supporting workers by doubling unionization as I propose to do — some of this is low tech, too. Like the minimum wage is just too low. And so-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when scripture says, 'Whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.'"
Why it matters: Buttigieg, who would be the first openly gay president in U.S. history if elected, has spoken openly about his Christian faith throughout the campaign. He has repeatedly attacked Republicans — including Vice President and fellow Indiana native Mike Pence — for what he has describes as "moral hypocrisy," arguing that religion is not "a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party" and that Democrats are fully capable of winning back evangelical voters.