Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was not in a mood to be baited by Fox News anchorman Mike Emanuel yesterday. Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Buttigieg was asked about a tweet that his husband, Chasten, posted regarding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
At the end of last week, it emerged that Kavanaugh felt compelled to leave a restaurant in DC via its back door when protestors turned up and asked management to kick him out.
Chasten tweeted the story, saying, “Sounds like he just wanted some privacy to make his own dining decisions.” This was a shot at Kavanaugh’s role in voting to revoke the Roe vs. Wade ruling on abortion, thus removing the right of many women to make their own reproductive health decisions.
Emanuel highlighted Chasten’s words and asked Pete if he thought the tweet was “appropriate.”
Watch below what happened. Buttigieg gave an eloquent, unflustered, level-headed response as to why it was appropriate, why people are upset with the Supreme Court, and why peaceful protest is a right of every citizen.
If you’re going to go on Fox, this is how you do it.pic.twitter.com/1HpakCVmUH
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Emanuel tries several times to get a word in edgeways, but Buttigieg continues with his answer.
“Look, when public officials go into public life, we should expect two things,” he says. “One, you should always be free from violence, harassment, and intimidation. And two, you’re never going to be free from criticism or peaceful protests, people exercising their First Amendment rights. That’s what happened in this case.”
Buttigieg goes on to point out that Justice Kavanaugh “swore up and down in front of God and everyone, including the United States Congress, that they were going to leave settled case law alone. So yes, people are upset. They’re going to exercise their First Amendment rights. And as long as that’s peaceful, that’s protected.”
When Emanuel finally manages to get a word in, he asks Buttigieg, “Are you comfortable with protesters protesting when you and your husband go to dinner at a restaurant?”
Buttigieg replies, “Protesting peacefully outside in a public space? Sure. Look, I can’t even tell you the number of spaces, venues, and scenarios where I’ve been protested. And the bottom line is this: any public figure should always always be free from violence, intimidation and harassment, but should never be free from criticism, or people exercising their First Amendment rights.”
You can watch the whole interview below. Buttigieg’s comment about Chasten’s tweet begins at the 7.05 mark.