Biden says Buttigieg is 'not a Barack Obama' on NH campaign trail

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage The Memo: Trump grows weak as clock ticks down Nina Turner addresses Biden's search for a running mate MORE went on the offensive against former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE on Saturday, saying that he was more experienced than former mayor and that Buttigieg is "not a Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Memo: Trump grows weak as clock ticks down How Obama can win back millions of Trump voters for Biden Biden taps Obama alums for high-level campaign positions: report MORE.”

Biden told a swath of voters on the campaign trail in New Hampshire that he was not a risky candidate to run against President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE in the 2020 general election if he became the nominee.

The former vice president also pushed one of his main talking points that he's an experienced leader and lawmaker.

“I do not believe we’re a party at risk if I’m the nominee,” Biden said. “I do believe we’re a party at risk if we nominate someone who has never held a higher office than the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.”

In the past, the former mayor has tried to draw comparisons between himself and former President Barack Obama, as both Buttigieg and then-candidate Obama faced questions about their experience and ability to handle the rigors of the presidential office, according to The Associated Press

Referencing the mayor's Obama comparisons, Biden told reporters according to the wire service that, "This guy’s not a Barack Obama. Barack Obama had laid out a clear vision of what he thought the international society should look like and what the order should be. Barack Obama had laid out in detail what he thought should happen with regard to the economy.”

Biden's comments echo a new attack ad that his campaign rolled out on Saturday. The 90-second ad compares the records of both Biden and Buttigieg and focuses on the fact that the Buttigieg was the mayor of the small city of South Bend for eight years.

“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 in the ad 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.” 

In response, 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."

The offensive strategy from the Biden campaign comes as the former vice president looks to rebound in New Hampshire's primary after struggling to a fourth place finish in the Iowa caucuses.