Tucker Carlson's critique of Tucker Carlson’s parental leave was addressed by Transportation Secretary Buttigieg.
Buttigieg stated on MSNBC, "I guess that he just doesn’t understand the concept bottle feeding."
Conservatives have attempted to highlight Buttigieg’s departure in the supply-chain debate.
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Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg reacted to Tucker Carlson's mocking comment that he was "trying figure out how breastfeed" while on parental leave.
Buttigieg, a father to twins, appeared on MSNBC's Deadline White House. He spoke about the benefits of family time and the opportunity to spend quality time with his children.
The secretary confirmed that he had taken paternity leaves in an Oct. 7 tweet.
Buttigieg said that the administration is pro-family and that she was blessed to be able experience it as an employee. It's joyous work. It's great work, but it is definitely work.
Carlson was then criticized by the secretary, who made it public on Thursday's primetime program.
"Pete Buttigieg was on leave since August, after adopting a child. They call it paternity leave. It is meant to help with breastfeeding. Carlson did not provide any details.
Wallace asked Buttigieg to respond: "I guess that he just doesn’t understand the concept bottle feeding, let along the concept paternity leave."
According to the secretary, US leaders are doing a better job of highlighting caregiving and parenting as important work. He pointed out President Joe Biden's proposal for paid family leave for Americans. The secretary stated that Carlson's comments did not reflect all right-leaning Americans.
He stated that "this is largely a consensus problem moms and dads should be able to support themselves including with paid leave"
Carlson's comments provoked backlash with some labeling them homophobic.
Elliot Imse is a spokesperson for the Victory Fund which supports LGBTQ individuals in public service. He told The Washington Post that Carlson’s comment about breastfeeding was an insult because he is a gay father.
Imse stated that if he wanted to argue about paternity leave, he could do so without using a homophobic trope."
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, praised Friday Buttigieg's efforts to raise awareness about parental leave.
She tweeted, "Proud that I work in an admin that fights to make paid leaves a reality for all and with people such as @SecretaryPete which are role models for the importance of paid time off for new parents."
Buttigieg stated that, despite his leave, he "been available 24/7 for issues that can't be delayed," particularly regarding supply-chain issues which conservatives often criticize.
The 39-year-old ex-mayor of South Bend, Indiana and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, took over the helm of the sprawling Transportation department, which employs 58,000 people, after his confirmation by the Senate earlier this year. This agency is responsible for planning and coordinating federal transportation projects as well as overseeing safety regulations in transportation throughout the country.