Joe Biden accuses Pete Buttigieg of stealing his healthcare plan
Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden has accused gay mayor Pete Buttigieg of stealing his healthcare policy.
Biden and Buttigieg are just two Democratic hopefuls in a crowded presidential campaign – but it appears that relations are not good between the pair.
The former vice-president to Barack Obama has proposed expanding the Affordable Care Act to give a “public option” which would allow people to opt into a government plan but would also preserve the role of health insurance companies, NBC News reports.
Buttigieg has proposed a similar public option – and Biden is not impressed.
Joe Biden: Pete Buttigieg ‘stole’ healthcare policy.
“He stole it,” he told reporters from his campaign bus this week.
He also said that he would have been roundly criticised if he “stole” another candidate’s healthcare plan.
“What would you have done to me? You’d have torn my ears off,” he said.
He continued: “Anything I say about Pete will be taken as being a criticism or a negative about Pete, and I don’t have any negative feelings about Pete at all. I think he’s a talented guy.”
What would you have done to me? You’d have torn my ears off.
Biden’s comments come as Democratic hopefuls compete to be named as the party’s presidential candidate for next year’s election. Whoever is selected will face off against Donald Trump.
Buttigieg recently climbed to lead polls in Iowa and New Hampshire while Biden has retained his lead in surveys of the Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primary.
Buttigieg is faring well in polls, but has failed to win over African-American voters.
However, Buttigieg – who is openly gay and currently serves as mayor of South Bend, Indiana – has failed to win over African-American voters, which could be the undoing of his campaign.
Last month, he was branded “naïve” by Democrat Kamala Harris for citing his experience of discrimination as a gay man in a discussion about discrimination faced by black people.
The Senator told CBS: “Those of us who’ve been involved in Civil Rights for a long time, we know that it is important that we not compare our struggles.
“It is not productive, it is not smart and strategically it works against what we need to do which is build coalition.
“We know that in our ongoing fight for civil rights if any one of us starts to differentiate ourselves in a certain way and in particular what he did on the stage, it’s just not productive. And I think it’s a bit naïve.”