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Buttigieg says parenthood ‘lights a fire’

AP-Evan Vucci

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who recently became a father to twin babies, said parenthood “lights a fire” in him.

In an interview with CBS News published Monday, Buttigieg told reporter Errol Barnett that his thoughts about the future changed when he became a father. 

Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, welcomed adopted twin babies last September. Buttigieg faced backlash from conservative media pundits for taking a ​​paternity leave.

“My relationship to the future used to be that I thought of myself as the youngster in the room and the person with the most at stake,” Buttigieg told Barnettt. “Obviously, that changes when you hold a child in your arms and you realize you’re training your replacements in this world — and you got to make sure things unfold well for them.”

Buttigieg also said having children has changed his perspective on policy, saying it “lights a fire” in him to create a safe and healthy world for future generations. 

“I come to policy with the same values, but the stakes are different. When you look into the eyes of your 5-month-old child and ask yourself, ‘What are we doing to make sure that the world is going to be safe and healthy for you?’ It just, for me, it lights a fire,” Buttigieg said. 

“I know that the decisions we make right now are going to make or break the America that they will grow up in, work and go to school in and — I hope — thrive,”  Buttigieg said. “And so it just creates a different sense of urgency.”

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