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Pete Buttigieg puts Tucker Carlson on notice: Family leave should be available to every American

Pete Buttigieg puts Tucker Carlson on notice: Family leave should be available to every American

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You know we are in the 21st century when it takes a gay man to come up with the most forceful defense of family leave policies that primarily benefit heterosexual couples.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is one of the new parents taking advantage of federal parental leave policies after he and his husband Chasen welcomed two newborn fraternal twins to their family through adoption.

Like many other parents who have their lives irrevocably transformed by the sudden addition of child care responsibilities to their already busy lives, the Buttigiegs felt that the availability of parental leave that would enable them to both spend sufficient time with their newborns at a crucial stage of their development and bonding period was simply too important to forgo, despite the Transportation Secretary’s central role in supporting the passage of President Biden’s signature infrastructure bill and the massive global supply chain issues that are affecting the economic recovery from the pandemic-induced financial contraction.

It was a decision that led the homophobic Fox News host Tucker Carlson to mock the former Democratic presidential candidate for availing himself of a benefit that Democrats have fought long and hard to make a regular and accepted practice among new parents to the benefit of their families.

“Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed,” Carlson belittled Buttigieg on his program earlier this week with an implied homophobia.

Buttigieg wasn’t about to let Carlson have the last word on his well-deserved paternity leave.

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Appearing on CNN‘s State of the Union this morning, the Transportation Sectretary shot back at the offensive Fox News host by refusing to be cowed by the criticism that Carlson had flung his way.

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“I’m not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson or anyone else for taking care of my premature newborn twins … it’s work that every American ought to be able to do when they welcome a new child into their family,” Buttigieg tartly repleid when asked about the criticism he faced when availing himself of the hard-fought parental leave benefits.

You can watch a clip of Buttigieg’s appearance on CNN in the video below, followed by a selection of social media reactions to the contretemps.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter. 

Original reporting by Aaron Rupar.

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