Election 2020

Biden Revives His 2007 Obama Criticism to Knock Buttigieg's Lack of Experience

Biden Revives His 2007 Obama Criticism to Knock Buttigieg's Lack of Experience
In this Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 photo, people gather around the stage for the Democratic presidential primary before Wednesday's debate in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

During a presidential primary debate in 2007, former Vice President Joe Biden famously told then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), a freshman senator, that the presidency doesn’t “lend itself to on-the-job training.”

Biden resurrected that line of attack in the Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday evening.

First, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was asked to elaborate on her statement that a female presidential candidate with former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s level of experience would not be on the debate stage. After Klobuchar stood by her statement, Buttigieg, 37, said he has “the right experience” to take on President Trump.

“I get it’s not traditional establishment Washington experience, but I would argue we need something very different right now. In order to defeat this president, we need somebody who can go toe to toe, who actually comes from the kinds of communities that he’s been appealing to. I don’t talk a big game about helping the working class while helicoptering between golf courses with my name on them. I don’t even golf,” he said.

Following Buttigieg’s defense of his experience, Biden touted his career in the Senate from 1973 to 2009 as well as his two terms as vice president.

“We have to unify this country. I have done it. I have done it repeatedly. And lastly, to be commander in chief, there’s no time for on-the-job training. I’ve spent more time in the situation room, more time abroad, more time than anybody up here,” he said. “I know every major world leader. They know me, and they know when I speak, if I’m the president of the United States, who we’re for, who we’re against, and what we’ll do, and we’ll keep our word.”