Chasten Buttigieg says Pence’s ‘maternity leave’ remark is contrary to his reputation as a ‘family values Republican’
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s husband Chasten Buttigieg said former Vice President Mike Pence’s recent remark about his husband’s paternity leave runs contrary to his reputation as a “family values Republican.”
“The thing about what he said is it flies in the face of what he says he is,” Buttigieg said during an appearance on ABC’s “The View” on Thursday. “He says he’s a family values Republican. So, I don’t think he’s practicing what he preaches here.”
Pence joked at the annual Gridiron Dinner on Sunday that Pete Buttigieg’s paternity leave was connected to recent flight disruptions. Buttigieg adopted twins with his husband in September 2021.
“When Pete’s two children were born, he took two months maternity leave, where upon thousands of travelers were stranded in airports, the air traffic system shut down, airplanes nearly collided in midair,” Pence said. “I mean, Pete Buttigieg is the only person in human history to have a child and all the rest of us get postpartum depression.”
Chasten Buttigieg called the comment “misogynistic” and homophobic” on Thursday, suggesting that it discounted and made assumptions about women’s roles in families.
“It’s a bigger conversation about the work that women do in families, taking a swipe at all women and all families and expecting that women would stay at home and raise children I think is a pretty misogynistic view,” he told the panel on “The View.”
The Transportation secretary’s husband previously called out the former vice president in an Instagram post on Monday, with a photo of Pete Buttigieg holding his child at a hospital. The couple’s son spent several weeks in and out of the hospital and on a ventilator after he was born.
“An honest question for you,@mikepence, after your attempted joke this weekend,” Chasten Buttigieg said. “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?”
The White House also slammed Pence over the joke on Monday, calling for him to apologize.
“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,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “He should apologize to women and LGBTQ people, who are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.”
For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.