Pete Buttigieg Hits Back At Joe Biden: ‘This Isn’t 2008’

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the 100 Club Dinner at SNHIU in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg have spent the past week attacking and criticizing each other, contrasting records, and offering their own visions for the future of the country.

Per The Hill, Biden — who finished fourth in Iowa — recently dismissed the comparisons between Buttigieg and former President Barack Obama, stating that the 38-year-old mayor is “no Barack Obama.” Buttigieg is now hitting back at the Delaware Democrat.

“Well, he’s right. I’m not, and neither is he. Neither is any of us running for president,” Buttigieg said, speaking with Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday.

“This isn’t 2008. This is 2020.”

Buttigieg also responded to Biden’s remarks about his lack of experience on the national stage, arguing that small towns in the industrial Midwest have been “treated like a punchline” by Washington politicians and that now is the time to “turn the page.”

Biden’s campaign has made an attempt to cast Buttigieg as an inexperienced, young politician who does not have what it takes to lead the country. On Saturday, the former vice president’s campaign released an attack advertisement, mocking and ridiculing Buttigieg’s record and contrasting it with Biden’s.

“Under threat of a nuclear Iran, Joe Biden helped to negotiate the Iran deal. And under threat of disappearing pets, Buttigieg negotiated lighter licensing regulations on pet chip scanners,” the narrator can be heard saying in the ad, which lists a number of Biden’s perceived accomplishments, including the Affordable Care Act.

Obama is featured in the ad and can be heard describing Biden as the best vice president in United States history. The brief video clip also mentions the controversies about Buttigieg’s relationship with the African-American community in South Bend.

That issue also came up during the New Hampshire presidential debate on Friday. Grilled about the controversies, Buttigieg deflected, suggesting that gang activity was to blame for the spike in arrests when he was mayor. Criminal justice reform advocates criticized his response.

Biden and Buttigieg have every reason to attack each other, given that they seemingly share a base. Biden’s collapse in Iowa happened largely thanks to Buttigieg, who cut into the former vice president’s support among moderate and conservative voters.

According to latest polling, the New Hampshire primary could play out in a similar fashion. Buttigieg is surging, largely thanks to voters who have migrated from Biden to him. Neither of the men is favored to win the competition, however. Sen. Bernie Sanders is in first place, with a 10-point advantage over Buttigieg. Biden is in fourth.