Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been widely condemned for his response to the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio earlier this month.
Things have gotten so bad that some observers are publicly questioning when the secretary’s firing will occur.
“Bad faith attacks”
According to the Daily Caller, Fox News host Katie Pavlich raised the issue during Friday’s broadcast of “The Five,” saying, “When it comes to Pete Buttigieg, the White House is throwing him under the bus, kind of, by default because Joe Biden handled this poorly.”
“Yesterday the White House press secretary was defending him from the lectern in the briefing room,” she continued, a reference to remarks made last Thursday by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“I do want to say one thing, though, which is there’s been a lot of bad-faith attacks on Secretary Buttigieg,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.
WH Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre condemns “bad faith attacks” on Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg amid growing scrutiny of his handling of the Ohio derailment:
“If you remember Elaine Chao…when there was these types of chemical spills, nobody was calling for her to be fired.” pic.twitter.com/sEpNLr2jA6
— The Recount (@therecount) February 23, 2023
Buttigieg vacationed in Portugal
“I’m curious how many times this guy gets to screw up before they actually decide to get rid of him and start over,” Pavlich wondered. “It turns out the transportation secretary actually has responsibilities.”
What’s more, Pavlich recalled other times when Buttigieg was noticeably absent, such as when he took parental leave while America struggled with a shipping crisis as well as his decision to go on vacation in Portugal even as a rail strike seemed imminent.
“Where was he during the cargo ship crisis where all the cargo ships were sitting out to sea? Where was he when the rail strike was about to happen?” she asked.
“He was gone for that. There’s a number of things he’s M.I.A. for and this is another one. The rule is when you start making the president look bad, that is when it’s time to go. He’s done that a lot of different times,” Pavlich declared.
Identity politics to the rescue?
However, fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson told his viewers last week that it is unlikely the Transportation secretary will face any consequences for his missteps.
Carlson remarked that “it would be encouraging to see someone punished for this debacle for the thousand trail derailments, train derailments we have every year as people, as Pete Buttigieg blithely informed us the other day.”
Yet the host said that won’t happen “because he’s on board with the core idea of the Biden administration, and that is equity and equity means we’re going to make decisions based on how you look.”
As an example, Carlson played a clip of Buttigieg apologizing for having used the slogan “All Lives Matter” while he was Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.