US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has been on paternity leave since mid-August with newborn twins, called right-wing attacks on his paternity leave “strange” and from “a side of the aisle that used to claim the mantle of being pro-family”.
Buttigieg – who is gay – was the subject of criticism from Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday, who belittled the secretary’s paternity leave while making homophobic comments and criticizing the administration for supply chain woes.
“In his case, I guess he just doesn’t understand the concept of bottle feeding let alone the concept of paternity lave,” Buttigieg said about Carlson on MSNBC. “What we have right now is an administration that’s actually pro-family,” said Buttigieg, who adopted newborn twins with his husband Chasten.
“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 joyful work, it’s wonderful work, but it’s definitely work,” Buttigieg added.
The comments came after an attack by Carlson on his show. “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child,” Tucker Carlson told his Fox News audience on Thursday. “Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed – no word on how that went.”
In fact, Fox News provides paternity leave, and Carlson’s colleagues have previously praised the company’s six weeks of paid leave on-air.
Photo – Pete Buttigieg, US secretary of transportation . EPA-EFE/STEFANI REYNOLDS / POOL