Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg took the stage at CNN’s New Hampshire town hall on Thursday. Not long after, his campaign received backlash for appearing to insert an audio track of audience claps into a video clip of the appearance promoted on Twitter, Mediaite reports.
The alleged edit was reported by the Center for Popular Democracy Action, an American organization that promotes progressive politics and supports Buttigieg’s Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders. On Twitter, the advocacy group posted a video of the source footage alongside the campaign’s footage, along with the hashtag “SneakyPete.”
During the video, Buttigieg answered a question about how his age impacts his presidential run.
“Statistically, we run the risk of being the first generation in American history to actually be worse off economically than our parents if nothing is done to change the trajectory of this,” he said.
The 38-year-old politician added that this pattern is a concern not just for the current generation but one that requires the formation of an “alliance among generations” to improve the prospects for future Americans.
After Buttigieg’s comment, the campaign video cuts to applause and an advertisement for his town hall. But in the original video, the former South Bend mayor continues to speak to no applause. Upon finishing his statement, Buttigieg receives applause that Mediate called “polite,” noting that it was nowhere close to the enthusiasm in the campaign’s video.
— CPD Action (@CPDAction) February 7, 2020
It’s not the first time Buttigieg has faced criticism for manufacturing his political optics. As The Inquisitr previously reported, actor Jeffrey Wright accused the candidate of placing African-American supporters directed behind him during a televised speech at an Iowa caucus rally on Monday.
Wright appeared to believe that Buttigieg, who has struggled to gain black support, was trying to make it seem like he had more support from the community than in reality.
“Stacking black folks behind your candidate at the speech is basically ‘F*ck you, black America, you’re an idiot,” he tweeted.
“Iowa’s the new black or what’s going on back there?” Wright asked in an earlier tweet.
Buttigieg also sparked controversy when he declared victory over the Iowa caucuses before the official results were released. Many progressive commentators subsequently pointed to his campaign’s payment to Shadow, the developer behind the app that was reportedly the source of delays and discrepancies in the results, and noted the bad optics.
In addition, reports revealed that ACRONYM, one of Shadow’s investors, is run by high-profile Democratic operative Tara McGowan, who is married to a senior strategist with the Buttigieg campaign.