Last week, while hosting military families at the White House for National Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Vice President Mike Pence accidentally tapped a young boy’s nose with his outstretched arms, during a farewell.
The kid was dogged in his pursuit of an apology from the former governor of Indiana:
Upon the clip going viral, a number of media outlets supplied commentary over the footage. One pundit, a contributor to FOX News named Tammy Bruce, decided to paint the behavior with a skeptical brush, sticking the kid with a few less-than-glowing, politically-charged labels.
The radio host from New York said this:
“I guess we’re giving birth to snowflakes now, because that looked like that kid needed a safe space in that room.”
” … the eight year-old pretty much stalked the vice president afterwards. He wasn’t even — the headlines said he was “hit, he was struck, he was smashed, he was bumped.” The fabric on his sleeve touched his nose maybe. He stalks the vice president, says, “you owe me an apology.” This is like he was channeling [University of Missouri professor] Melissa Click wanting to get some muscle into the room. This is crazy. Now look, he’s seen it either on television, maybe he’s seen it at home perhaps, but he felt aggrieved because, I don’t know, the vice president maybe slightly touched his nose. It’s pretty amazing.”
The boy’s name is Michael.
After Bruce’s spot aired and made the rounds, Michael’s mother, Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee, went on CNN and Jake Tapper’s show to voice her concern.
“Michael is ten years old. He is on the autism spectrum. He’s a military child. He loves the White House,” she told Tapper.
She went on to detail that, for one, her son only been verbal for five years and two, he’s in the process of learning social cues and manners — things not often easily grasped by children with autism.
While she glowed about how Pence dealt with the kids and families present at the event, she also offered advice to pundits and media who hurt her by — from afar — chastising her son for what he did.
“Please don’t use kids. It doesn’t matter that he’s autistic or a military kid. Forget all that. He’s a kid. And you don’t use children as examples on national television like that.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Tammy Bruce issued this video apology regarding her comments.