Fox News Anchor Says Not to Discuss Trump's 'Personal Relationships' During Panel Discussion on Pete Buttigieg's Personal Relationship

Fox News anchor Sandra Smith cut off contributor Jessica Tarlov, telling her not to get into President Donald Trump's "personal relationships" while a panel discussed Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's marriage and recent homophobic criticism from conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh, who was granted a Presidential Medal of Freedom during Trump's State of the Union address earlier this month, made the remarks on his popular right-wing radio show last week.

"They're saying, OK, how's this going to look, 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to 'Mr. Man' Donald Trump? What's going to happen there?" Limbaugh said, arguing that the U.S. was not ready to have a gay president.

Buttigieg is 38, not 37. His birthday was in January.

Pete Buttigieg and Chasten
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg appears on stage with his husband Chasten Buttigieg at his primary night watch party on February 11 in Nashua, New Hampshire. Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty

Tarlov called the remarks "homophobic" during a Fox News panel discussion on Monday, drawing comparisons between what she said is Buttigieg's apparently happy monogamous marriage and Limbaugh, who has been married several times, and with Trump, who is reported to have had affairs during his multiple marriages over the years.

"You see a loving, monogamous couple like Pete Buttigieg and Chasten, his husband, up there showing what is possible, that someone who is in a same-sex relationship could be running for president and doing as well," Tarlov noted.

"And then they're torn down by Rush Limbaugh, who's been married four times I think," she said, before pointing out the president's past infidelity.

"We have Donald Trump, three times married, cheated on all of those wives," she said. But anchor Smith then cut in, objecting to discussing the personal life of the president—despite the show's discussion of the relationship of a Democratic presidential candidate.

"Let's not bring in personal relationships," Smith interjected. She then turned to read Limbaugh's original comments, which were about Buttigieg's personal relationship.

Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump
Rush Limbaugh shakes hands with President Donald Trump during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on December 21 NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty

Buttigieg himself responded to Limbaugh's criticism in an interview with CNN on Sunday.

"I love my husband. I'm faithful to my husband," he former mayor of South Bend, Indiana said. "On stage, we usually just go for a hug. But I love him very much, and I'm not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh."

For his part, Trump said last week that he'd personally vote for a gay president during an interview with Fox News.

"I think there would be some that wouldn't, and I wouldn't be among that group, to be honest with you," Trump said, before specifically referencing Buttigieg.

"It doesn't seem to be hurting him very much," the president said about the Democratic candidate.