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Inside the war between Tucker Carlson and Pete Buttigieg

Story at a glance:

  • Pete Buttigieg got made fun of by Tucker Carlson for his paternity leave.
  • Buttigieg clapped back on MSNBC, saying Carlson does not understand feeding a baby.
  • Buttigieg adopted two children; Carlson has four.

Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. transportation secretary who has been on paternity leave since mid-August to care for his newborn twins with his husband, is defending paid leave after Tucker Carlson mocked him. 

On Thursday, the primetime Fox News host took shots at Buttigieg for his paternity leave while the Biden administration deals with supply chain shortages. According to The Guardian, Carlson made homophobic comments toward Buttigieg.

“Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child; paternity leave is what they are calling it,” Carlson said. “Try to figure out how to breastfeed — no word on how that went.”


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Buttigieg and his husband recently adopted two newborn children.

Buttigieg responded the next day, praising the Biden administration and taking aim at Carlson. 

“In his case, I guess he just doesn’t understand the concept of bottle feeding let alone the concept of paternity leave,” Buttigieg said about Carlson on MSNBC. “What we have right now is an administration that’s actually pro-family,” said Buttigieg.

“I’m blessed to experience that as an employee, being able to have the flexibility to take care of our newborn children, which is by the way, work, it’s joyful work, it’s wonderful work, but it’s definitely work,” he added.

Carlons has four children and works for a network that provides paid paternity leave for its employees. 

While Carlson might have an issue with Buttigieg being on paternity leave, fellow Fox News hosts have praised the employee benefit. 

Fox & Friends co-host Todd Piro said Fox allows new fathers up to six weeks to spend with their newborn.

“They give us six weeks as dads for paternity and I’m taking that six weeks,” Piro said in March. “I can’t wait to bond with my little one.”

As The Hill previously reported, Jesse Watters said he was “pro-paternity” in April after taking six weeks following the birth of his third child.


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