The White Home on Monday known as on Mike Pence to apologize for his comment that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had gone on “maternity depart,” saying that the previous vice chairman’s “homophobic joke” on the Gridiron Membership dinner on Saturday was “offensive and inappropriate.”

“The previous vice chairman’s homophobic joke about Secretary Buttigieg was offensive and inappropriate, all of the extra so as a result of he handled girls affected by postpartum melancholy as a punchline,” White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated in an announcement. “He ought to apologize to girls and LGBTQ individuals, who’re entitled to be handled with dignity and respect.”

Pence delivered the road Saturday night on the annual Gridiron Membership dinner in Washington, DC – an occasion bringing collectively a number of the metropolis’s most outstanding journalists, together with from CNN, and the federal government officers they cowl. It historically options politicians making jokes about notable Washington figures.

The previous vice chairman quipped that if President Joe Biden doesn’t run for reelection, “there’s Pete Buttigieg, who’s an outdated good friend of mine.”

“When Pete’s two kids had been born, he took two months maternity depart, the place upon hundreds of vacationers had been stranded in airports, the air site visitors system shut down, airplanes practically collided in midair,” Pence stated. “I imply, Pete Buttigieg is the one particular person in human historical past to have a baby and all the remainder of us get postpartum melancholy.”

Buttigieg, who served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, whereas Pence was governor of the state, adopted twins along with his husband, Chasten, in September 2021. After saying he would take two months paternity depart to be along with his new child son and daughter, Buttigieg obtained an onslaught of destructive reactions from right-wing pundits.

“An sincere query for you, Mike Pence, after your tried joke this weekend. In case your grandchild was born prematurely and positioned on a ventilator at two months outdated – their tiny fingers wrapped round yours because the screens beep within the background – the place would you be?” Chasten Buttigieg tweeted Monday afternoon.

Pence’s former chief of workers Marc Brief on Monday responded to the Biden White Home’s assertion with considered one of his personal, saying that the administration “ought to spare America the fake outrage” and that it “can be sensible to focus much less on placating the woke police and focus extra on financial institution failures, planes practically colliding in mid-air, prepare derailments, and the continued provide chain disaster.”

Throughout the dinner, Pence additionally took photographs at Biden and a number of other Republicans anticipated to run for president in 2024, even directing some blistering feedback towards his former boss, Donald Trump.

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