Pence refuses to apologize for making Buttigieg ‘maternity’ leave joke

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‘Pete Buttigieg can’t take a joke’: Mike Pence refuses to apologize for mocking Transporation Secretary’s ‘maternity’ leave after husband Chasten and the White House demanded he say sorry

  • Former Vice President Mike Pence refused to apologize Thursday for a joke he made about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg taking ‘maternity’ leave 
  • Pence noted that the Gridiron Dinner, where he deployed the joke, was a ‘roast’ and admonished Buttigieg for not being able to take a joke
  • The White House had called the joke ‘homophobic,’ while Pete’s husband Chasten Buttigieg appeared on The View and complained about it 

Former Vice President Mike Pence refused to apologize Thursday for a joke he made about the chaos that ensued when Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was on ‘maternity’ leave.

‘The Gridiron Dinner is a roast. I had a lot of jokes directed at me, and I directed a lot of jokes to Republicans and Democrats,’ Pence told reporters at an event in Keene, New Hampshire. ‘The only thing I can figure is Pete Buttigieg not only can’t do his job, but he can’t take a joke.’   

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Pence was the GOP speaker at Saturday night’s Gridiron Dinner in Washington and made fun of the Transportation Secretary for taking time off after the birth of his adopted twins.    

‘When Pete’s two children were born, he took two months maternity leave, where upon thousands of travelers were stranded in airports, the air traffic system shut down, airplanes nearly collided in midair,’ Pence said. ‘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 White House called the joke ‘homophobic,’ saying it was ‘offensive and inappropriate,’ while Pete’s husband Chasten went on The View Thursday where it was the main topic of conversation. 

Pence refuses to apologize for making Buttigieg ‘maternity’ leave joke

Former Vice President Mike Pence refused to apologize Thursday for a joke he made about the chaos that ensued when Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was on ‘maternity’ leave

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg with his twins Gus and Penelope. The White House called Pence's joke 'homophobic,' as well as 'offensive and inappropriate'

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg with his twins Gus and Penelope. The White House called Pence’s joke ‘homophobic,’ as well as ‘offensive and inappropriate’

Chasten Buttigieg told the co-hosts that the joke ‘flies in the face’ of the ‘family values’ Pence preaches and revealed that the Buttigiegs did not receive an apology from the Republican. 

The Transportation Secretary’s husband told The View that ‘when your kid’s connected to a ventilator, you don’t want to be anywhere but their bedside.’ 

The Buttigiegs’ son Gus spent two months in the NICU as a newborn. 

‘I just don’t take that when it’s directed at my family,’ Buttigieg said, explaining why he decided to speak out. 

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‘And I don’t think anybody else would, especially when you bring a very small, medically fragile child into it,’ Buttigieg argued.  

Buttigieg told The View cohosts that Pence deliberately used ‘maternity’ leave, as a way to feminize his husband, calling the move ‘misogynistic.’

Chasten Buttigieg went after Pence on Thursday, saying a 'maternity leave' joke he made about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg 'flies in the face' of the 'family values' Pence preaches

Chasten Buttigieg went after Pence on Thursday, saying a ‘maternity leave’ joke he made about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg ‘flies in the face’ of the ‘family values’ Pence preaches

Pence was the GOP speaker at Saturday night's Gridiron. Pence joked that the country got 'postpartum depression' from the travel woes created while Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was on 'maternity leave'

Pence was the GOP speaker at Saturday night’s Gridiron. Pence joked that the country got ‘postpartum depression’ from the travel woes created while Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was on ‘maternity leave’ 

He argued that the first weeks spent with the twins, when both he and Pete were on paternity leave, wasn’t a ‘vacation,’ but an incredibly trying time, as their daughter Penelope also needed around-the-clock care. 

‘And there is nothing weak about that work,’ Buttigieg said on The View. 

The Gridiron Club is made up of journalists who perform skits and songs mocking both political parties – and themselves. Every years there’s also a Democrat, Republican and speaker representing the White House.  

The humor at the dinner is supposed to ‘singe not burn.’ 

On Saturday night, Pence’s comments about Pete Buttigieg were overshadowed by newsy remarks he made about former President Donald Trump, as he recounted what he was feeling on January 6 as the Capitol was being attacked by a pro-Trump mob. 

‘I was not afraid, I was angry. President Trump was wrong,’ Pence said. ‘I had no right to overturn the election and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day.’ 

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‘And I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable,’ Pence said.



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