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Mike Pence defends ‘homophobic’ comments on Buttigieg’s parental leave: ‘He can’t take a joke’

Mike Pence is doubling down on comments he made about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last week, which were criticized as “homophobic,” “misogynistic” and “offensive.”

Pence came under fire last weekend after he mocked Buttigieg for taking “maternity leave” in 2021. The former vice president told reporters at an event Thursday night in New Hampshire that Buttigieg couldn’t “take a joke.”

Buttigieg and her husband, Chasten, were “overjoyed” to announce the birth of their twins in August 2021. But two months later, they shared that they had to take the children to the hospital after a health issue.

“Pete is the only person in human history to have had a child and everyone else has postpartum depression,” Pence said at the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner in Washington, DC on Saturday.

The comments drew a sharp rebuke from the White House.

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On Monday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Pence should apologize “to women and LGBTQ people, who have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Chasten Buttigieg also criticized Pence’s “attempted joke” by sharing a photo of one of the twins in a hospital room.

“If your grandson were born prematurely and placed on a ventilator at 2 months old, their little fingers wrapped around yours while the monitors beeped in the background, where would you be?” he wrote she in a tweet directed at Pence, who announced the birth of his first granddaughter in March 2021.

But speaking at the Republican event on Thursday night, Pence pushed back against the criticism.

“The Gridiron Dinner is a roast. I had a lot of jokes directed at me, and I directed a lot of jokes at Republicans and Democrats,” he told reporters.

“The only thing I can imagine is that Pete Buttigieg not only can’t do his job, but he can’t take a joke,” he added.

with cable news services

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