A video of Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE offering his condolences in French after Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire went viral on Tuesday.
The clip of the South Bend, Ind., mayor speaking with French news outlet BFMTV in the country’s native language has been viewed nearly 3 million times as of Tuesday morning.
“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, according to a Business Insider translation.
« Au peuple de France je voudrais dire que la cathédrale Notre Dame, c’était comme un cadeau à l’espèce humaine. Nous partageons la douleur mais nous vous remercions aussi de ce cadeau à la civilisation. » @PeteButtigieg à @BFMTV
Et en français! #NotreDame pic.twitter.com/0xbf5lGhYH
— Cédric Faiche (@cedricfaiche) April 15, 2019
Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the U.S., thanked Buttigieg for his remarks and praised his use of French.
Thank you Mayor @PeteButtigieg for this message and congratulations for your french! https://t.co/0zgnKq29OW
— Gérard Araud (@GerardAraud) April 16, 2019
Buttigieg, who formally launched his presidential bid on Sunday, reportedly speaks seven languages in addition to English: French, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Arabic, Maltese and Dari.
He went viral earlier this year when he answered a question from a Norwegian reporter in Norwegian.
A fire broke out in the Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, thought to be linked to ongoing renovation efforts at the 12th century cathedral.
Police said that Notre Dame’s structure and key religious relics had been saved from “total destruction” after authorities originally believed the fire might destroy the entire building.
A number of world leaders spoke out to mourn the extensive damage to the historic building. Former President Obama paid homage to the Parisian landmark by sharing a photo of him visiting the cathedral with his young daughters.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE tweeted that it was “horrible” to see the flames tear through the cathedral and suggested that “flying water tankers” be used to combat the fire.
“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” he wrote. “Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
French officials, however, said that Trump’s suggestion would have caused the historic structure to collapse.
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