Pete Buttigieg defended his husband over a tweet poking fun at Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s meal being disrupted by abortion rights activists in Washington DC this week.
The Transport Secretary was asked on Fox News Sunday if Chasten Buttigieg’s Twitter post was appropriate, in which he wrote: “Sounds like he just wanted some privacy to make his own dining decisions.”
Mr Buttigieg acknowledged that public officials “should always be free from violence,” but said they would never be immune from criticism and peaceful protests.
“Remember, the justice never even came into contact with these protesters, reportedly didn’t see or hear them. And these protesters are upset because a right, an important right that the majority of Americans support was taken away.”
Mr Buttigieg said as one of six conservative justices who voted to overturn Roe v Wade, Justice Kavanaugh had taken away a woman’s right to choose while also “stripping away the right to privacy”.
“Since I’ve been alive, settled case law in the United States has been that the Constitution protected the right to privacy and that has now been thrown out the window by justices, including Justice Kavanaugh, who as I recall, swore up and down in front of God and everyone including the United States Congress that they were going to leave settled case law alone.
“So yes, people are upset. They’re going to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
Fox News host Mike Emmanuel tried to interject several times as Mr Buttigieg was speaking, as the Transport Secretary politely but firmly continued speaking over him.
Clips of the interview attracted millions of views in just a few hours on social media, where users praised Mr Buttigieg’s calm, clear-eyed delivery.
“I thought Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News yet I keep on seeing Pete Buttigieg own them every single week,” wrote podcast host Brett Meiselas.
Sheryll Coston applauded the one-time presidential candidate’s “intelligent and precise” remarks.
“While always being polite, he does not let the host interrupt him when they don’t like his point.”
Author Steve Beschloss said no one comes close to Mr Buttigieg “in his ability to articulate issues in clear and vivid language, including on Fox News”.
On Wednesday night, Justice Kavanaugh snuck out the back of Morton’s the Steakhouse in Washington DC to avoid abortion rights protesters who had received a tip that he was eating there.
“Honourable Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh and all of our other patrons at the restaurant were unduly harassed by unruly protestors while eating dinner at our Morton’s restaurant,” the restaurant told Political in a statement.
The restaurant later reported a spike in fake dining reservations.