OAN Deven Berryhill
UPDATED 4:30 PM PT – Monday, March 13, 2023
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has asked former Vice President Mike Pence to apologize for telling a “homophobic joke” regarding Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s paternity leave.
Over the weekend, Mike Pence spoke before journalists and politicians at the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, D.C. During his speech at the traditionally humorous white-tie gathering, Pence poked fun at Buttigieg for taking paternity leave while Americans faced unprecedented issues with air travel.
“He took two months ‘maternity’ leave whereupon thousands of travelers were stranded in airports, the air traffic system shut down, and airplanes nearly collided on our runways. Pete is the only person in human history to have a child and everyone else gets postpartum depression,” Pence said.
Jean-Pierre told The Washington Blade, a liberal LGBTQ outlet, that the former vice president should apologize “to women and LGBTQ people.”
“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,” said Jean-Pierre. “He should apologize to women and LGBTQ people, who are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.”
According to sources, the Transportation Secretary, who is gay, “took maternity leave” after he and his husband adopted twins in 2021.
In a tweet on Monday, Pence’s former Chief-of-Staff Marc Short called the response from the White House a “faux outrage.”
“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,” Short said.
Pence was also joined on stage at the Gridiron event by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D-N.J.). Each speaker at the event told jokes intended to be humorous. The former vice president did take the opportunity call out former President Donald Trump over his handling of the January 6 protest at the Capitol in 2021.
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