Pete Buttigieg has again defended himself from criticism from Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. Last week, Carlson commented on the Transportation Secretary taking paternity leave, suggesting he was, “trying to figure out how to breastfeed.”
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday, Buttigieg said, “As you might imagine, we’re bottle-feeding and doing it at all hours of the day and night.
“And I’m not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson or anyone else for taking care of my premature newborn infant twins. The work that we are doing is joyful, fulfilling, wonderful work. It’s important work, and it’s work that every American ought to be able to do when they welcome a new child into their family. I campaigned on that.”
Transportation @SecretaryPete: “I’m not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson or anyone else for taking care of my premature newborn infant twins. […] We’re pretty much the only country left that doesn’t have some kind of national policy for paid leave.” https://t.co/MHVeOL6cus pic.twitter.com/XUTnN4fz5d
— The Hill (@thehill) October 17, 2021
Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, announced they’d become fathers to twins Penelope and Joseph in August. Buttigieg took paid paternity leave but is now back full-time at his job.
This is not the first time Buttigieg responded to Carlson’s criticism. Last week, he told MSNBC,
“In [Carlson’s] case, I guess he just doesn’t understand the concept of bottle feeding, let alone the concept of paternity leave. But what is really strange is that, you know, this is from a side of the aisle that used to claim the mantle of being pro-family. What we have right now is an administration that’s actually pro-family,” Buttigieg said.
Sec. Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave, “This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, ” pic.twitter.com/DsyQgCyUNO
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 15, 2021
Buttigieg also said that Carlson’s comments may have been motivated by other factors.
“This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, so obviously, we know there’s some dark places where some of these attitudes come from.”
Carlson’s 1991 yearbook from his senior year at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut listed him as a member of the “Dan White Society”. Dan White is the name of the man who assassinated the gay politician, Harvey Milk.
Others on the right have criticized Buttigieg for taking paternity leave when the country is facing supply chain issues. However, Buttigieg reassured CNN’s Jake Tapper he stayed in touch with his office.
“Even though I’ve been on paternity leave, and I’m proud of it, obviously given the nature of my job, when you take a job like mine, you understand and accept that you’re going to have to be available 24/7, depending on what’s going on, and you’re going to have to engage, and I did even if that meant taking a phone call or making a decision from a hospital room.”
Meanwhile, clapping back to Buttigieg’s clap back, Carlson has continued to criticize the lawmaker. On his show on Friday, he referenced the controversy that blew up around his “breastfeeding comments.”
“Last night on this show we made a brief, offhand joke about the Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and this morning we discovered our error.
“It turns out that Buttigieg is not a dwarfish fraud whose utter mediocrity indicts the class that produced him. No, not at all,” said Carlson.
“Pete Buttigieg was once the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. So understandably, going forward, we are under strict orders from the Biden administration to take Pete Buttigieg very, very seriously.
“And of course we will. Our mistake.”