Pence defends controversial Buttigieg ‘maternity go away’ joke; says Biden cupboard secy. ‘can’t take a joke’
Former Vice President Mike Pence is defending a joke he instructed lately about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg throughout an unique dinner and roast attended by politicians and journalists, which was later criticized by the White Home and by Buttigieg’s husband.
“Pete is the one individual in human historical past to have a toddler and everybody else will get postpartum melancholy,” Pence mentioned Saturday on the Gridiron Dinner, an annual invitation solely white tie gathering within the nation’s capital the place the invited audio system humorously make enjoyable of themselves and others.
Pence, who has mentioned he’ll resolve within the spring on whether or not he’ll search the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, was commenting on the household go away Buttigieg took after he and his husband Chasten adopted new child twins in 2021.
“The Gridiron Dinner is a roast. I had plenty of jokes directed to me, and I directed plenty of jokes to Republicans and Democrats,” Pence instructed reporters Thursday night after headlining a Republican Celebration fundraising dinner in New Hampshire, the state that holds the second contest within the GOP’s presidential nominating calendar.
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“The one factor I can determine is Pete Buttigieg not solely can’t do his job, however he can’t take a joke,” he added.
White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Monday instructed The Washington Blade, a liberal LGBTQ outlet, that Pence’s joke was “homophobic,” “offensive” and “inappropriate,” and known as on him to apologize “to girls and LGBTQ individuals.”
Marc Quick, a prime Pence adviser and former chief of workers to the then-vice president, responded by arguing that the White Home was being hypocritical and that “the Biden administration ought to spare America the fake outrage…The White Home could be sensible to focus much less on placating the woke police and focus extra on financial institution failures, planes practically colliding in midair, prepare derailments, and the continued provide chain disaster.”
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Chasten Buttigieg, in an interview Thursday on ABC’s “The View,” mentioned that Pence’s remarks are “a part of a a lot larger development attacking households.”
“I spoke up as a result of all of us have an obligation to carry individuals accountable for after they say one thing incorrect, particularly when it’s misogynistic, particularly when it’s homophobic, and I simply don’t take that when it’s in the direction of my household, and I don’t assume anybody else would, particularly while you deliver a really small, medically fragile youngster into it,” he mentioned.
Pence, a former Indiana governor, and Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, appeared to have a cordial relationship throughout their overlapping tenures in Hoosier state politics. Nonetheless, Buttigieg, in his memoir about his profession and his 2020 Democratic run for the White Home, described his relationship with Pence as “sophisticated.”
The previous vice chairman, who has lengthy been often called a champion of social conservative values and a good friend to evangelical voters, mentioned in a 2019 interview with CNBC that he and Buttigieg had a “nice working relationship” and criticized Buttigieg’s characterization of his non secular beliefs.
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On the Gridiron Dinner, Pence made headlines by forcefully reiterating his criticism of former President Trump’s actions in the course of the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capital by proper wing extremists and different supporters of the then-president — together with some chanting “cling Mike Pence” — who aimed to upend congressional certification of President Biden’s Electoral School victory that was overseen by the then-vice president.
Nonetheless, Pence additionally took some jabs at Trump — who in November launched his third White Home marketing campaign — over his former working mate’s religion.
“I as soon as invited President Trump to Bible examine,” Pence mentioned in his speech on the occasion, which is closed to cameras and audio recording units. “He actually favored the passages in regards to the smiting and perishing of thine enemies. As he put it, ‘Ya know, Mike, there’s some actually great things in right here.’”
Pointing to the present authorized controversy over Trump’s storing of categorised paperwork post-presidency at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida that he was not legally allowed to retain, Pence mentioned “I learn that a few of these categorised paperwork they discovered at Mar-a-Lago had been truly caught within the president’s Bible… which proves he had completely no concept they had been there.”
On Thursday, in his speech in New Hampshire on the Cheshire County GOP’s annual Lincoln-Reagan fundraising dinner, Pence appeared to take purpose once more at Trump, this time over coverage and politics.
“I feel as Republicans we’ve to withstand the temptation of doing what’s fashionable over what’s sensible. We’ve got to withstand the politics of character, the lure of populism,” Pence mentioned. “We’ve got to get again to the timeless conservative rules that made New Hampshire and America robust.”
Fox Information’ Aubrie Spady contributed to this report
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