On CNN Friday, longtime Mitch McConnell strategist Scott Jennings tried to blame Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's paid family leave for the supply chain crisis rocking U.S. ports — and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen promptly shut him down.
Buttigieg's family leave has already been the subject of homophobic attacks on Fox News.
"We are in the middle of one of the biggest transportation crises in recent American history. All this chaos at the ports and supply chain issues," said Jennings. "And he's not been at work. And I am a pro-family leave guy. I believe in it ... but when you accept an assignment from the president of the United States, and you are confirmed by the U.S. Senate, you're accepting a higher level of responsibility. A higher level of public service. And frankly, you ought to know that goes with some personal sacrifice. So the fact that they have let this chaos go on at the ports while Secretary Buttigieg has been off doing this and now they want to present it like it's an anti-family stance to question that. I don't think that's right."
"I think that that family is entitled to a level of privacy, just like other families are," said Rosen. "But having said that, I think the country is not for the poor because Secretary Buttigieg has taken parental leave. The crisis at the ports has more to do with the supply chain issues coming from the Far East. The administration, including the Department of Transportation, including Secretary Buttigieg, they are doing everything they can. Working with shippers. Working with suppliers. Keeping that thing flowing as much as possible. Scott talking about this being a crisis at the ports is just not true."
"We do have a supply-chain crisis," cut in Jennings. "Ship after ship after ship lined up in the ocean, out off of both coasts. If this is not a transportation crisis, boats in the water, then what is?"
"The crisis is at the point of distribution, where the supply chains are, and getting them into the United States," said Rosen. "Look, there is not much you can do other than keep the ports open 24 hours a day, which is what they are doing. They are facilitating as much transportation as possible. I think that — look — it's in the Republicans' interest to try and turn this into a crisis and relate it to a — a family decision which all men should pay attention to, but it just — they are just not related."
Scott Jennings and Hilary Rosen clash over Pete Buttigieg's family leave www.youtube.com