Joe Biden stepped up his criticism of Pete Buttigieg, refuting comparisons the former small town mayor has drawn to the last Democratic president, declaring: “This guy's not a Barack Obama.”
The rebuke came on the final weekend before the New Hampshire primary, as Biden struggles to regain ground after a bruising fourth place finish in the Iowa caucuses, where Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., both claimed victory.
Speaking with reporters Saturday, he suggested Buttigieg’s calls for change implied criticism of the Obama era. When pressed on whether his jabs at Buttigieg’s mayoral resume were comparable to Hillary Clinton’s swipes at then-Senator Obama during the 2008 primary — and if the remarks were an “act of desperation” — he bristled, the New York Times reported.
“Oh, come on, man!” he said. “This guy’s not a Barack Obama!”
Biden's campaign is trying to recalibrate after the loss in Iowa, shaking up senior leadership and signaling the former vice president won't go down without a fight.
A 90-second video released Saturday compares Biden's record as vice president with Buttigieg’s service as mayor. While Biden helped President Barack Obama pass sweeping health care legislation and orchestrate a bailout of the auto industry, the ad says, Buttigieg was installing decorative lights on bridges and repairing sidewalks.
Buttigieg fired back.
“Americans in small rural towns in industrial communities and in pockets of our country's biggest cities are tired of being reduced to a punchline by Washington politicians and ready for somebody to take their voice to the American capital,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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