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Buttigieg Hits Back at People Who Are Upset That He's on Paid Leave During a National Crisis

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Being on leave during a major crisis is a good thing, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Friday.

The Department of Transportation let slip Thursday that Buttigieg, who adopted twins with his husband, Chasten, has been on paternity leave since August.

“For the first four weeks, he was mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated,” a spokesman for the Department of Transportation said. “He has been ramping up activities since then.”

Buttigieg will “continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children,” the spokesman said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the openly gay Cabinet member is a role model for the “importance of paid leave for new parents,” according to The Hill.

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Not everyone was as fawning.

“Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave, they call it. Trying to figure out how to breastfeed, no word on how that went,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Thursday.

Buttigieg was stung by the remark and said he is on call “24/7.”

“In his case, I guess he just doesn’t understand the concept of bottle feeding, let alone the concept of paternity leave,” Buttigieg said of Carlson. “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.”

Is this leave a symbol for how lost this country has become?

“I’m blessed to experience that as an employee, being able to have the flexibility to take care of our newborn children, which is by the way, work. It’s a joyful work. It’s wonderful work, but it’s definitely work,” Buttigieg added.

But Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee noted that Buttigieg has taken time off when America’s transportation sector is under scrutiny as a key cause of supply chain issues that are impacting Americans.

“We’re in the middle of a transportation crisis and the White House was hiding that Pete Buttigieg was on paid leave. Why did we just learn of this?” Blackburn tweeted, adding the secretary “should do his job.”

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Carlson, on Fox News, did not allow Buttigieg to have the last word, according to Newsweek.

“We made a brief, offhand joke about the Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and this morning we discovered our error,” Carlson said.

“It turns out that Buttigieg is not a dwarfish fraud whose utter mediocrity indicts the class that produced him. No, not at all,” he said.

“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,” he said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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