Mike Emanuel, Host of “Fox News Sunday,” had questions for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, after Buttigieg’s husband Chasten mocked Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for leaving a Morton’s Steakhouse after it was surrounded by pro-abortion protesters.
Emanuel asked whether Buttigieg believed it was appropriate for a Cabinet secretary’s husband to suggest that Kavanaugh deserved to have his dinner disrupted. Critics of Buttigieg pushed back, saying that he shouldn’t condone protests against someone who was the target of a recent assassination attempt.
“Let’s go to a red-hot issue in Washington, your husband tweeted after Justice Brett Kavanaugh left a Washington restaurant due to protesters — the tweet reads, ‘Sounds like he just wanted some privacy to make his own dining decisions.’ Is that appropriate, sir?” Emanuel asked.
Buttigieg defended the tweet, saying that while justices and other public officials should be protected from “violence, harassment, and intimidation,” they can and should expect people to peacefully protest and criticize them in public.
“That is what happened in this case. Remember, the justice never even came into contact with these protesters, reportedly didn’t see or hear them,” Buttigieg continued.
“These protesters are upset because an important right that the majority of Americans support was taken away. Not only the right to choose, by the way, but this justice was part of the process of stripping away the right to privacy. As long as I’ve been alive, settled case law in the United States has been that the Constitution protected the right to privacy. That has now been thrown out the window by justices, including Justice Kavanaugh who 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, as long as it’s peaceful, that’s protected.”
Buttigieg then invoked the January 6 incident, claiming that the people had been “summoned” to the Capitol, “for the purpose of overthrowing the election” and that they had “very nearly succeeded in preventing the peaceful transfer of power.”
“But as a high-profile public figure, sir, are you comfortable with protesters protesting when you and your husband go to dinner at a restaurant?” Emanuel asked.
“Protesting peacefully outside in a public space, sure. Look, I can’t even tell you the number of spaces, venues, and scenarios where I have been protested. The bottom line is this: any public figure should always, always be free from violence, intimidation, and harassment, but should never be free from criticism or people exercising their First Amendment rights,” Buttigieg responded.