White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized former Vice President Mike Pence for making a remark she deemed "offensive" and "homophobic." This came after Pence jested that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was on "maternity leave."
As reported by CNN, Pence addressed an annual dinner at the Gridiron Club and humorously mentioned that if President Biden decides not to run for re-election, “There’s Pete Buttigieg, who’s an old friend of mine.”
“When Pete’s two children were born, he took two months' maternity leave, whereupon thousands of travelers were stranded in airports, the air traffic system shut down, airplanes nearly collided in midair,” Pence stated.
“I mean, Pete Buttigieg is the only person in human history to have a child and all the rest of us get postpartum depression," the former VP chuckled.
In a statement, the press secretary asserted that Pence was treating women as a joke when he mocked the transportation secretary, stating: "The former vice president's homophobic joke about Secretary Buttigieg was offensive and inappropriate, especially since he used women experiencing postpartum depression as the butt of the joke," Jean-Pierre claimed.
"He should apologize to women and LGBTQ people, who are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect," she continued.
Chasten Buttigieg, Pete Buttigieg's spouse, responded to Pence's "attempted joke" on Twitter, posing a sincere question: "Mike Pence, after your attempted joke this weekend, I have an honest question for you. If your grandchild was born prematurely and put on a ventilator at two months old – their tiny fingers gripping yours as the monitors beep in the background – where would you be?"
An honest question for you, @Mike_Pence, after your attempted joke this weekend. 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? pic.twitter.com/pCWvl8pb5N
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chasten) March 13, 2023
Pence also shifted to a more somber tone during the event, making extensive remarks about the events of January 6, 2021. He leveled accusations against President Trump and labeled the day as a "disgrace."
“President Trump was wrong. I had no right to overturn the election, and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable,” Pence said, per a report from CNN.
“Make no mistake about it, what happened that day was a disgrace, and it mocks decency to portray it in any other way,” he added.
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