Joe Biden can’t decide whether he wants Pete Buttigieg as his vice president or whether he’s a ‘small town’ nobody
Joe Biden said he’d consider Pete Buttigieg as his running mate should he win the Democratic nomination, despite having spent much of the weekend attacking his rival’s credentials.
Biden, 77, said that he would choose a younger candidate as his theoretical second-in-command, with the only stipulation that there was a “correlation” between their beliefs and his.
“There are at least four people running that are, in fact, in simpatico with where I am, starting with Indiana,” he said at a town hall event on Sunday, February 9.
Buttigieg, 38, was until recently the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Many were surprised at Biden’s remarks, which followed the release of a digital advert from his campaign titled “Pete’s Record”.
The video contrasts Biden’s 36 years of experience as a senator and 8 years as vice president with Buttigieg’s “small town” mayorship.
“When president Obama called on him, Joe Biden helped lead the passage of the Affordable Care Act,” the video’s narrator says.
“And when park-goers called on Pete Buttigieg, he installed decorative lights under bridges, giving citizens of South Bend colourfully illuminated rivers.”
The Biden campaign also highlighted up Buttigieg’s lack of support from Black voters, bringing up his firing of “the African American police chief of South Bend”.
Pete Buttigieg says his political record is ‘exactly the point’.
Buttigieg addressed the advert on an event in New Hampshire on Saturday, telling crowds that his his lack of Washington experience “is exactly the point”.
“I know some folks are out there saying, ‘What business does a mayor of South Bend have running for the presidency? You don’t have an office in Washington. Your community is a little out of the way,'” he said.
“Right now there are so many communities, so many Americans, small and medium-sized cities like mine, and neighbourhoods in some of the biggest cities in the country, that feel like Washington can’t even hear us.
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“I’m here to carry those voices to Washington, to bring solutions not from Washington but to our nation’s capital, because I believe that we would be well-served if we could start to get Washington to work a little more like our best-run cities and towns rather than the other way around.”
Joe Biden flailed in Iowa caucus results.
Commentators have suggested that Biden’s change of tack is a direct result of his woeful Iowa caucus showing.
Buttigieg led the final count in Iowa with 564 votes, two more than Bernie Sanders’ 562.
Elizabeth Warren was in third place with 388, and Biden – long considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination – trailed on 340.
Whether Biden’s strategy is working will reveal itself after the New Hampshire Primary, taking place on Tuesday, February 11.