A Fox News panel piled on Transportation Secretary — and green energy advocate — Pete Buttigieg, decrying him as a hypocrite when they learned that he was not only regularly flying private rather than commercial, but using taxpayer dollars to fund that travel.
According to a report published Monday by Fox News Digital’s Thomas Catenacci, Buttigieg has flown across the United States — using private jets at taxpayer expense — on at least 18 occasions. The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor is hardly the first government official to take criticism for such travel — former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao took heat for seven taxpayer-funded flights totaling $94,000, and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned after his 26 private flights cost taxpayers $1.2 million.
But after months of listening to Buttigieg push Americans toward public transit and a transition to electric vehicles, the panelists on Monday’s broadcast of “Outnumbered” made it clear they had had enough of the “do as I say, not as I do” Washington mentality.
“Shouldn’t anyone who espouses that hyper-moralism in terms of environmentalism, shouldn’t they be the ones who have to live the most stringent lives in terms of keeping themselves from enjoying luxuries like private plane travel?” Fox Business host Lisa Kennedy asked.
“Walk the walk, man!” co-host Emily Compagno exclaimed. “It is ridiculous to me that our tax dollars are funding for someone to travel internationally to Canada to pick up an award for advancing LGBTQ rights. Why then wouldn’t you, in your symbolism of advancement, take a commercial airline?”
“The notion that his holier-than-thou-ness is costing me? That’s what I can’t take,” Compagno continued. “I would love for my tax dollars to stop paying for their hypocrisy.”
“I think he should have to ride his bicycle all across the country,” Kennedy added.
Buttigieg has often talked about biking to work when he can — and a video of his security detail delivering his bike via SUV sparked rumors that he had driven most of the way to a meeting and then biked a short distance for show.
“He rode his bike to the White House Cabinet meeting and he rode his bike back to DOT after the meeting,” the Department of Transportation responded at the time.