Pete Buttigieg isn’t apologizing for taking paternity leave to spend with his newborn twins, and why should he?
Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, are currently caring for newborn twins whom they welcomed in August. If we had to hazard a guess, we’d say their lives right now are filled with diaper changes, bottle warming, middle-of-the-night crying, and all the other wonderful (and stressful and exhausting and beautiful and did we mention exhausting?) parts of having a newborn. The last thing they have time for is haters.
And yet, the haters are coming for them anyway. Since Buttigieg has been on paternity leave from his job as the U.S. Transportation Secretary since August, Tucker Carlson (is anyone surprised it’s Tucker Carlson?) decided to come at him with some, frankly, homophobic remarks.
“Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went,” Carlson said during one of his segments on Fox News last week. Yes, because time off after a baby arrives is for breastfeeding and nothing else.
On Sunday, Buttigieg made a brief appearance on CNN to fire back.
“As you might imagine, we’re bottle feeding and doing it at all hours of the day and night,” he told host Jake Tapper. “I’m not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson or anyone else for taking care of my premature newborn infant twins. The work that we are doing is joyful, fulfilling, wonderful work, it’s important work.”
And during another appearance on Meet the Press, Buttigieg had more to say.
“When somebody welcomes a new child into their family and goes on leave to take care of that child, that’s not a vacation, it’s work,” he added.
Amen. Though something tells us Tucker Carlson wouldn’t know. He gives off big dad-who-brags-that-he’s-never-changed-a-diaper energy.
But enough about that. Let’s talk more about Pete Buttigieg and his time learning to be a new dad.
“It’s been wonderful,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this month. “It’s everything people tell you to expect and more. I think the biggest thing that’s surprised me is just how much joy there is even sometimes in the hard parts. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the most demanding thing I think I’ve ever done, that Chasten and I have ever taken on. It’s just amazing.”
Buttigieg continued, “I used to think of 5 a.m. as early. Now I think of it as nap time if I’m lucky. And yet, I catch myself grinning half the time … We’re just over the moon.”
If that doesn’t just sum it up. You keep doing you, Dad. And Tucker Carlson, go take care of your own kids.