The White House defended Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Friday for taking off two months of paid paternity leave — even as the national supply chain crisis worsened.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Buttigieg a role model for taking so much time off after he and Chasten got baby twins.
“[P]roud to work in an Administration that is fighting to make paid leave a reality for everyone, and with people like Sec. Pete Buttigieg who are role models on the importance of paid leave for new parents,” she wrote.
Also proud to work in an Administration that is fighting to make paid leave a reality for everyone, and with people like @SecretaryPete who are role models on the importance of paid leave for new parents https://t.co/Zby6W6XoNo
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) October 15, 2021
White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield also fired back at critics of Buttigieg.
“To call parenting your newborns being ‘MIA; is to render invisible every single working parent in this country,” she wrote on social media. “Outdated, embarrassing and unacceptable. It’s long past time we see and support working parents instead.”
Buttigieg and Chasten announced the birth of two baby twins in September.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) criticized Buttigieg for “sitting at home” during a transportation crisis.
“Pete needs to either get back to work or leave the Department of Transportation,” she said to Breitbart News.
On October 7, Buttigieg appeared on Morning Joe, where he spoke about the ongoing supply chain issues and also about being a new parent.
He described taking care of the twins as “the most demanding thing I think I’ve ever done” and spoke about the long hours of parenting.
“I used to think of 5am as early, now I think of it as nap time if I’m lucky,” he said.
"It's been wonderful. It's everything people tell you to expect and more. I think the biggest thing that has surprised me is just how much joy there is even sometimes in the hard parts." —@secretarypete on being a new dad pic.twitter.com/UwovzGxTNH
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) October 7, 2021