Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Arpan Rai

Pence aide mocks White House for demanding he apologise to Buttigieg over maternity leave ‘joke’

Getty Images

Mike Pence’s aide Marc Short asked the White House to spare America the “faux outrage” after the former vice-president was asked by the Biden administration to apologise over his “homophobic” jabs at transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“The Biden administration should spare America the faux outrage. The hypocrisy is especially rich considering their own secretary of state Antony Blinken joked that he yearned for ‘the old days’ when ‘Jews did all the work’,” Mr Short said on Monday.

It was not clear if or when Mr Blinken, the son of Jewish parents, said this. Mr Pence did not immediately comment on Mr Short’s remarks.

He went on: “The White House would be wise to focus less on placating the woke police and focus more on bank failures, planes nearly colliding in mid-air, train derailments, and the continued supply chain crisis.”

This comes just hours after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and former chief of staff to Mike Pence asked the ex-vice president to apologise for his “homophobic” remarks made at the expense of transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“The former vice president’s homophobic joke about Secretary Buttigieg was offensive and inappropriate, all the more so because he treated women suffering from postpartum depression as a punchline,” Ms Jean-Pierre said on Monday.

Mr Pence “should apologise to women and LGBTQ people, who are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect”, she said.

The former vice-president, eyeing to be the Republican face for 2024 presidential elections, mocked Mr Buttigieg for seeking “two months maternity leave” after adopting twins with his husband in 2021.

Mr Pence pitched the transportation secretary’s name as – as “an old friend of mine” – if president Joe Biden doesn’t run for re-election.

“When Pete’s two children were born, he took two months maternity leave, where upon thousands of travellers were stranded in airports, the air traffic system shut down, airplanes nearly collided in midair,” Mr Pence said on Saturday at the Gridiron Club dinner.

“I mean, Pete Buttigieg is the only person in human history to have a child and all the rest of us get postpartum depression,” Mr Pence remarked, sparking condemnation of his remarks on the mental health condition.

The transportation secretary’s husband Chasten Buttigieg was the first to counter Mr Pence.

“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?” he said on Monday.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.