Former Vice President Joe Biden entered the Democratic presidential race as the front-runner, holding on to his lead in national polling and in key early states. However, Biden experienced a major setback earlier this week, when he placed fourth in Iowa.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg essentially tied for first place, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts came in third. The New Hampshire primary is next week and Biden is now going on the offensive, taking aim at fellow moderate Buttigieg, according to Business Insider.
On Saturday, the former vice president released an attack ad, blasting the young Democrat over his lack of political experience, and questioning his relationship with the African-American community in South Bend. The ad compares Biden and Buttigieg’s records, pointing to the former vice president’s accomplishments on the national stage, while dismissing the former mayor’s work.
“Under threat of a nuclear Iran, Joe Biden helped to negotiate the Iran deal,” the narrator says.
“And under threat of disappearing pets, Buttigieg negotiated lighter licensing regulations on pet chip scanners,” the ad continues.
The brief video lists a number of Biden’s accomplishments, including the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — and a brief clip of former President Barack Obama describing Biden as the best vice president in American history.
The advertisement also points to controversies about Buttigieg’s relationship with the African-American community in South Bend.
“When public pressure mounted against him, former Mayor Pete fired the first African American Police Chief of South Bend. And then he forced out the African American fire chief too,” the ad says, as newspaper headlines flash on the screen.
Former Mayor Pete doesn’t think very highly of the Obama-Biden record. Let’s compare. pic.twitter.com/132TB7MHaq
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) February 8, 2020
Buttigieg’s controversial record as mayor of South Bend appears to have irreversibly damaged his reputation in the African-American community. The 38-year-old mayor remains unpopular with black voters, despite spending significant sums of money on advertisements targeting African-American communities across the country, according to Politico, which noted that Buttigieg’s support is stuck at around 2 percent among African-American Democrats.
Buttigieg outperformed the polls in Iowa, and he is now the second strongest contender in the New Hampshire primary. According to latest polling, Buttigieg is trailing Sanders by seven points. His surge in the polls can be attributed to Biden’s collapse, given that the former mayor appears to have managed to cut into the former vice president’s support among moderates and conservatives.
Biden is polling at 11 percent in New Hampshire. He is followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is polling at 9 percent.