Former Vice President Mike Pence made homophobic remarks about U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, D.C. Saturday night, a source familiar with the matter told The Washington Blade.
Per tradition, headliners from both parties deliver remarks meant to be humorous during the dinner. Pence represented the Republicans while New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy represented the Democrats and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken represented the Biden administration.
During his speech at the 138th annual event, Pence said Buttigieg “took maternity leave” following the birth of his and husband Chasten’s twins in 2021, adding that the country subsequently “got postpartum depression,” referencing the ongoing issues over problems with U.S. airlines and massive delays and cancellations that has plagued air travel.
According to the source, Pence also claimed his pronouns were “thou” and “thine.”
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In a piece ahead of the event Politico reported: “Pence’s closest advisers hope that he will use the appearance as an opportunity to deploy a trait he has for the most part kept under wraps over the past half dozen years: his humor.”
The Associated Press Chief White House Correspondent, Zeke Miller, reported that the remarks referencing the Transportation Secretary were not well received in the room.
Many of Pence’s prepared remarks were targeting former President Donald Trump, whose “reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day” during the Jan. 6 insurrection, Pence said.
Pence is widely expected to challenge his former boss for the Republican nomination in the 2024 Presidential Election race.
A journalistic organization, the Gridiron Club inducts members by invitation only, and it has historically been restricted to only Washington newspaper bureau chiefs. By tradition, headliners from both parties deliver remarks meant to be humorous during the dinner.
Pence’s homophobic and misogynistic comments about Secretary Buttigieg mirrored those made by far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has on numerous broadcasts in the past two months suggested Buttigieg took paternity leave “to figure out how to breastfeed.”