Biden Mocked Buttigieg’s Record as Mayor in a New Video. Then Buttigieg Hit Back.

South Bends residents “don’t think their lives are a Washington politician’s punchline,” Buttigieg’s campaign responded.

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg shakes hands with former Vice President Joe Biden before the start of Friday's debate. Charles Krupa/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Three days before the New Hampshire primary, things are getting prickly: former Vice President Joe Biden is out with a new video mocking Pete Buttigieg’s record as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg’s campaign is responding by calling Biden a Washington politician who trivializes the lives of people in communities like South Bend.

“Let’s compare,” a narrator states in the new video. “Joe Biden helped lead the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which gave health care to 20 million people.”

“And when park-goers called on Pete Buttigieg,” she continues, deadpan, “he installed decorative lights under bridges giving citizens of South Bend colorfully illuminated rivers.”

The compare-and-contrast continues in a similar vein: Biden helps negotiate the Iran Deal, Buttigieg tackles pet chip scanner regulations; Biden works to save the auto industry, Buttigieg revitalizes South Bend sidewalks with “decorative brick.” It ends on a more serious note, attacking Buttigieg for firing a black police chief and pushing out a black fire chief. 

“[T]he American people are crying out for something completely different from this classic Washington style of politics,” Chris Meagher, Buttigieg’s national press secretary, responded in a statement. “While Washington politics trivializes what goes in communities like South Bend, South Bend residents who have better jobs, rising income, and new life in their city don’t think their lives are a Washington politician’s punchline.”

After finishing in fourth place in the Iowa caucuses, Biden suggested during a Friday debate that he may be on the verge of another disappointing loss in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. “The Vice President’s decision to run this ad,” Buttigieg’s press secretary said, “speaks more to where he currently stands in this race than it does about Pete’s perspective as a mayor and veteran.”

Dueling polls out Friday and Saturday showed Sen. Bernie Sanders and Buttigieg continuing to battle it out at the top after Iowa’s photo finish.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate