Election 2020

Biden Says Buttigieg 'Not a Barack Obama,' Buttigieg Hits Back: 'Neither Is He'

Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks with an AP reporter at Farmers Market in South Bend, Ind., Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

With Joe Biden’s campaign desperately trying to make up for coming in a distant fourth place in Iowa, he’s resorted to attacking Pete Buttigieg in a new campaign ad, mocking his small-town executive experience compared to the former vice president being Barack Obama’s number two. “Barack Obama called Joe Biden ‘the best vice president America has ever had.’ but Pete Buttigieg doesn’t think much of the vice president’s record,” says the Biden ad.

Biden defended his ad on Saturday. “When you get attacked, you’ve got to respond,” he told reporters in Manchester, New Hampshire. “This guy’s not a Barack Obama,” Biden added.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Mayor Pete was asked to respond to the ad, and Biden’s jab that Buttigieg is “not a Barack Obama.”

“Well, he’s right,” Buttigieg said. “I’m not. And neither is he. Neither is any of us running for president. And this isn’t 2008; it’s 2020.”


What Buttigieg should have also said was that he brings to the table more executive experience than Barack Obama had in 2008—which is undeniably true. Barack Obama was a relatively unaccomplished U.S. senator before deciding he was good enough to run for president. Obviously, Obama’s lack of experience turned out to be disastrous for the country, but Buttigieg can still effectively deflect questions of experience because the Democratic Party has proven that they really don’t care about experience. If they did, they would have chosen Biden over Obama in 2008. But they didn’t.

The Democratic Party gave up the right to talk about experience when they nominated Barack Obama.


Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis