Buttigieg’s husband sends Pence a photo of his hospitalised baby in angry response to ‘maternity leave’ joke
Pete Buttigieg’s husband sent Mike Pence a photo of his hospitalised baby in an angry response to a “maternity leave” joke made by the former vice president.
The White House has called for Mr Pence to apologise for what it called a “homophobic” joke about the Transportation Secretary’s decision to take paternity leave when his twins were born.
Mr Pence Pence said Mr Buttigieg, who is the first openly gay Cabinet secretary, took “maternity leave” while airline problems happened in 2021.
“Pete is the only person in human history to have a child and everyone else gets postpartum depression,” Mr Pence said at the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington on Saturday.
Mr Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, adopted twins who were born prematurely and spent weeks being treated in a hospital with health issues in 2021.
Chasten Buttigieg tweeted a photo of his husband holding one of the babies in a hospital room and called out the Republican on Monday.
“An honest question for you, (Mike Pence), after your attempted joke this weekend,” he tweeted.
“If your grandchild was born prematurely and placed on a ventilator at two months old — their tiny fingers wrapped around yours as the monitors beep in the background — where would you be?”
And he then posted an August 2022 article written by his husband about becoming parents.
“I’ll leave this here for you should you want to know more about the kids you are so eager to use as a punchline,” tweeted Chasten.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who was also at the event said Mr Pence should apologise for his comments.
“The former vice president’s homophobic joke about Secretary Buttigieg was offensive and inappropriate, all the more so because he treated women suffering from postpartum depression as a punchline,” she said in a statement.
“He should apologize to women and LGBTQ people, who are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Mr Pence’s former chief of staff, Marc Short, labelled the White House’s criticism as “faux outrage.”