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Mike Pence should apologize for ‘homophobic joke’: White House

The White House on Monday called on Mike Pence to apologize for saying that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had gone on “maternity leave,” saying the former vice president’s “homophobic joke” at the Gridiron Club dinner on Saturday was “offensive and inappropriate.” “

“The former vice president’s homophobic joke about Secretary Buttigieg was offensive and inappropriate, especially since he treated women with postpartum depression like a fist,” White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said. “He should apologize to women and LGBTQ people who have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Pence spoke Saturday night at the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner in Washington, D.C., an event that brings together the city’s top journalists, including from CNN, and the government officials they cover. It traditionally features politicians making jokes about prominent Washington figures.

The former vice president quipped that if US President Joe Biden is not re-elected, “there’s Pete Buttigieg, who is my old friend.”

“When Pete’s two children were born, he took two months of maternity leave where thousands of travelers were stranded at airports, air traffic was shut down, planes almost collided in midair,” Pence said. “I mean, Pete Buttigieg is the only person in human history to have a baby, and we all get postpartum depression.”

Buttigieg, who served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, while Pence was governor of the state, adopted twins with husband Chasten in September 2021. Buttigieg has received an onslaught of backlash from right-wing pundits.

“An honest question for you Mike Pence after your joke attempt this weekend. If your grandchild was born prematurely and put on a ventilator at two months old, his little fingers wrapped around yours as monitors blare in the background, where would you want to be? be?” Chasten Buttigieg on Twitter Monday afternoon.

Pence’s former chief of staff, Mark Short, responded to Biden’s White House statement on Monday with one of his own, saying the administration “needs to save America from fake anger” and that “it would be wise to focus less on waking up and appeasing the police.” focus more on bank failures, mid-air plane crashes, train derailments and the ongoing supply chain crisis.”

During the dinner, Pence also took shots at Biden and several Republicans expected to run for president in 2024, even directing some snarky comments at his former boss, Donald Trump.

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