Presidential candidate was enticed to speak at a Maltese migrants' club in New York with an offer of pastizzi.

Pete Buttigieg appeared to hold his own during a conversation on Wednesday in an exchange on American tabloid news website TMZ.

Mr Buttigieg, a 37-year-old mayor of Maltese descent, was caught on camera speaking in Maltese with the president of the Malta club in Astoria, New York.

“Alright, my people, Maltese! Doesn’t happen very often”, the surprised mayor says when first coming face-to-face with the Maltese speaker.

“Mil-─Žamrun,” Mr Buttigieg is heard saying when asked in Maltese where his family is originally from. His father, academic Joseph Buttigieg, who moved to the US in the late 1970s, died last January.

According to TMZ, the man tried to entice the presidential hopeful to speak at the Maltese club with an offer of pastizzi.

READ: How Maltese is Pete Boot-edge-edge?

Mr Buttigieg announced his candidacy for America’s top job in January 2019.

The popular mayor who speaks eight languages and plays classical piano has been the focus of countless news stories and profiles.

The fascination has been in no small part due to his background: he would be the youngest, first openly gay, first millennial and first mayor to become president.

But Mr Buttigieg must still overcome the perception that his youth and thin resume as mayor of a town of just 100,000 leaves him lacking the experience necessary for the presidency.

He is being viewed as a rank outsider for the Democratic nomination.

The young mayor has even found himself on the receiving end of mocking Tweets by President Donald Trump.

Earlier this month, the American President scoffed at the notion that Mr Buttigieg could hold his own in high-stakes international negotiations.

"He's got a great chance, doesn't he? He'll be great representing us against President Xi of China. That'll be great," Mr Trump said sarcastically of the presidential hopeful.

The pronunciation of his surname has confused many Americans who attempt to enunciate it.

This led an associate producer on the ‘Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ to put together a short video breaking the surname down into syllables to show how it should be pronounced.


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