Pete Buttigieg gave a master class in how to handle a gotcha question from Fox host Mike Emanuel today about abortion protests.
At about 7:04 into their Fox News Sunday interview, Emanuel tried to trap Buttigieg into looking like an extremist via a tweet from his husband:
EMANUEL: 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: It sounds like he just wanted some privacy to make his own dining decisions.
Is that appropriate, sir?
Buttigieg not only had a perfect response, he quickly maneuvered the discussion his way, steamrolling over Emanuel's efforts to stop him:
BUTTIGIEG: Look, when public officials go into public life, we should expect two things. One, that you should always be free from violence, harassment, and intimidation. And two, you're never going to be free from criticism or peaceful protest, people exercising their First Amendment rights.
BUTTIGIEG: And that's what happened in this case.
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.
BUTTIGIEG: 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. And 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.
Buttigieg didn’t stop there. He moved on to comparing the peaceful abortion protests to Donald Trump’s violent January 6th insurrection, despite Emanuel’s attempts to interrupt and stop the flow:
BUTTIGIEG: And as long as that's peaceful, that's protected.
Compare that, for example, to the reality that as a country right now, we're reckoning with the fact that a mob summoned by the former president - -
EMANUEL: All right. Let me follow-up, Mr. Secretary.
BUTTIGIEG: -- attacked the United States Capitol, for the purpose of overthrowing the election and very nearly succeeded in the preventing the peaceful transfer of power.
EMANUEL: But --
BUTTIGIEG: I think common sense can tell the difference.
Emanuel tried the gotcha again with no better result:
EMANUEL: 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?
BUTTIGIEG: Protesting peacefully outside in a public space -- sure. Look, I can't even tell you the number of spaces, venues, and scenarios where I've been protested.
And 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.
At that point, Emanuel changed the topic to the 2024 election.
You can enjoy Buttigieg’s handling of this interview below, from the July 10, 2022 Fox News Sunday.