Campaign

Biden rips into Buttigieg over experience in new ad

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday tore into Democratic presidential rival Pete Buttigieg in a new digital ad suggesting the former South Bend, Ind., mayor does not have sufficient experience to be president.

Biden underscored his ties to former President Obama in the roughly minute-and-a-half ad and highlighted issues he tackled as vice president, comparing his experience to Buttigieg’s efforts handling local problems as mayor.

“Barack Obama called Joe Biden ‘the best vice president America’s ever had.’ But Pete Buttigieg doesn’t think much of the vice president’s record,” a narrator says.

The video goes on to compare key moments of the Obama administration with actions Buttigieg took overseeing South Bend, insinuating that the former mayor doesn’t have enough experience to take the reins of the federal government. 

“Both Vice President Biden and former Mayor Buttigieg have taken on tough fights. Under threat of a nuclear Iran, Joe Biden helped to negotiate the Iran deal, and under the threat of disappearing pets, Buttigieg negotiated lighter licensing regulations on pet chip scanners,” the narrator says.

“Both Vice President Biden and former Mayor Pete have helped shape our economy. Joe Biden helped save the auto industry, which revitalized the economy of the Midwest, and led the passage and the implementation of the Recovery Act, saving our economy from a depression,” she adds. “Pete Buttigieg revitalized the sidewalks of downtown South Bend by laying out decorative brick.” 

The blistering ad comes in the aftermath of Buttigieg’s surprise showing in Iowa, where he appeared neck and neck with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the top spot in the state’s caucuses. The former mayor has since surged in polling in New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s primary there, with Biden dropping to third or fourth place. 

The attack ad indicates Biden’s campaign feels like it may have to fight back to blunt Buttigieg’s momentum coming out of Iowa and as the candidates compete heading into the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

A new CNN poll released Saturday indicated that Sanders and Buttigieg are leading among New Hampshire voters heading into the Granite State contest.

Buttigieg and Biden, two chief centrists in the race, are competing for similar sets of voters in the primary field, with some polls showing Buttigieg cutting directly into the former vice president’s support.

Buttigieg’s campaign fired back at the new ad Saturday, saying it indicates Biden is concerned about his current standing in the primary field. 

“At this moment, the American people are crying out for something completely different from this classic Washington style of politics. While Washington politics trivializes what goes on in communities like South Bend, South Bend residents who now have better jobs, rising income, and new life in their city don’t think their lives are a Washington politician’s punchline,” Chris Meagher, Buttigieg’s national press secretary,  said in a statement. 

“The Vice President’s decision to run this ad speaks more to where he currently stands in this race than it does about Pete’s perspective as a mayor and veteran,” Meagher added.

Tags Barack Obama Bernie Sanders Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg

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