Mayors come to Buttigieg’s defense over Biden ad

Several mayors across the nation came to Pete Buttigieg’s defense after former Vice President Joe Biden released a critical ad saying the former South Bend, Ind., mayor was too inexperienced to be elected president.

The mayors pounced both on the ad and a comment from Rob Flaherty, the digital director of Biden’s presidential campaign, saying that the ad had more views than the population of South Bend. 

“This is disrespectful to those of us who deal with the issues facing our communities EVERY DAY….while we get no movement from the Capitol in DC,” tweeted Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley, a Buttigieg backer.

“As Mayor of Waterloo with a population of 68,000 are you saying that voices from cities like mine don’t matter? All communities matter whether small or large,” Quentin Hart, the mayor of Waterloo, Iowa, added in response to Flaherty’s remark.

Christopher Cabaldon, the mayor of West Sacramento, added that “dismissive elitism” will not unite the country and Christine Hunschofsky called the ad “arrogant” and “disrespectful.”

While several candidates have expressed concerns about Buttigieg’s experience as a talking point on the campaign trail, the issue burst into the open when Biden put out his ad comparing his experience with that of Buttigieg. 

“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,” a narrator says in the clip. “Pete Buttigieg revitalized the sidewalks of downtown South Bend by laying out decorative brick.”

The ad came after Buttigieg virtually tied Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Monday’s Iowa caucuses and polls show him surging in New Hampshire, in part by peeling off support from Biden. 

Buttigieg has responded to attacks on his experience by doubling down on his record overseeing South Bend and maintaining that it is time to “turn the page” from the Obama administration.

“The perspective that I’m bringing is that of somebody whose life was shaped by the decisions that are made in those big, white buildings in Washington, D.C.,” he said at Friday’s primary debate. “We need a perspective right now that will finally allow us to leave the politics of the past in the past, turn the page, and bring change to Washington before it’s too late.”

Svante Myrick, the mayor of Ithaca, N.Y., said elected executives like Buttigieg can bring transferrable skills to the 2020 race. 

“My two cents, having been both a legislator and an elected executive. The biggest difference between the two is not the number of constituents you represent. It’s the skill set,” he tweeted. “Can you choose a good staff, manage personalities, resolve conflict, set a vision. Having prior experience running an agency, company, or government is something look for.” 

“There are transferable skills – especially around winning elections. But I wouldn’t disqualify someone for the number of constituents they represented in their last job.”

Tags Bernie Sanders Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg
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