Pete Buttigieg’s husband sent Mike Pence a photo of his baby in the hospital in an angry response to the former vice president’s “maternity leave” joke.
The White House called on Mr Pence to apologize for what it described as a “homophobic” joke about the transport secretary’s decision to take paternity leave when his twins were born.
Pence said Buttigieg, the first openly gay Cabinet minister, took “maternity leave” while flying problems hit in 2021.
“Pete is the only person in human history who has had a child and everyone else has postpartum depression,” Pence said at the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington on Saturday.
Mr. Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, adopted prematurely born twins who spent weeks in hospital treatment 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 to the Republican on Monday.
“An honest question for you, (Mike Pence), after trying to make a joke this weekend,” he tweeted.
“If your grandchild were born prematurely and put on a ventilator at two months of age — his little fingers curled around yours while the monitors beep in the background — where would you be?”
honest question for you, @employeeAfter trying to prank you this weekend. If your grandchild were born prematurely and put on a ventilator at two months of age — his tiny fingers curled around yours while the monitors beeped in the background — where would you be? pic.twitter.com/pCWvl8pb5N
– Chasten Buttigieg (Chasten) March 13, 2023
And then An article published in August 2022 was written by her husband about becoming parents.
“I’ll leave this here for you if you want to learn more about the babies you’re dying to use as a jumping off point,” Chasten tweeted.
White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre, who was also at the event, said Pence should apologize for his comments.
“The former vice president’s homophobic joke about Secretary Buttigieg was offensive and inappropriate, especially because he treated women suffering from postpartum depression as a joke,” she said in a statement.
“He should apologize to women and LGBT people, who are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Mark Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, called the White House criticism “fake anger.”
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