Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg fired back at Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, after the right-wing host attacked him for going on paternity leave to care for his adopted two children.
“As you might imagine, we’re bottle-feeding and doing it at all hours of the day and night,” Buttigiegsaid when asked to respond to remarks by Carlson on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“And I’m not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson or anyone else for taking care of my premature newborn, infant twins,” Buttigieg said to host Jake Tapper. “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.”
Carlson last week mocked Buttigieg for going on paternity leave after adopting two children with his husband Chasten Buttigieg, quipping that he was “trying to figure out how to breastfeed.”
Buttigieg previously responded to Carlson’s remarks, saying last week on MSNBC, that “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.”
The Transportation secretary has received criticism from right-wing commenters for going on paternity leave while the U.S. is experiencing supply chain issues that are raising the costs of goods and causing shortages.
Buttigieg said that even when on paternity leave, he is engaged with his office on those issues.
“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,” Buttigieg said.
Watch the interview below:
Jake Tapper asks Pete Buttigieg to respond to paternity leave criticism.
"As you might imagine, we are bottle feeding and doing it at all hours of the day and night. I’m not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson or anyone else for taking care of our premature newborn twins." pic.twitter.com/8cxU4X1x1e
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 17, 2021