Biden Denies Attacking Buttigieg In Campaign Ad: ‘Pete’s Been Attacking Me’

WESTERVILLE, OHIO - OCTOBER 15: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden shake hands after the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerv... WESTERVILLE, OHIO - OCTOBER 15: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden shake hands after the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio. A record 12 presidential hopefuls are participating in the debate hosted by CNN and The New York Times. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 9, 2020 11:47 a.m.
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Former vice president Joe Biden denies that he’s attacking fellow Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg in the wake of a campaign ad released Saturday mocking the former South Bend mayor’s experience.

After ABC’s George Stephanopolous aired a clip of Biden saying in a 2007 debate that Barack Obama wasn’t ready to be President in a Sunday morning interview, much like how he’s recently criticized Buttigieg, Biden hit back.

“I didn’t attack Pete. Pete’s been attacking me. He’s been saying that the reason we’re in the problem right now is because of the recent past,” Biden said. “That’s eight years of Obama and me. I don’t get that. I don’t understand that. And I think he has completely misunderstood or misrepresented my record. I have done a great deal. I have gotten an awful lot done, both as a senator and as vice president.”

Biden went on to counter Buttigieg’s insistence that he’s ready to take on the presidency by citing how he managed a $900 billion Recovery Act and how “we bailed out his city.”

After Biden said that Obama was a “pretty damn good president,” Stephanopolous asked why nominating Buttigieg would be a risk. Biden responded that despite how he likes Buttigieg, who is a “good” and “smart” guy, he’s only “been the mayor of a city smaller” than Manchester, New Hampshire.

“And so what has he done? What is — who has he pulled together? Does he know any of the foreign leaders? Has he been able to — I mean, Barack Obama was a different story,” Biden said. “Barack Obama came from a large state. He was a United States Senator, he had run before. He’d been involved in international — he had a clear vision of what he thought the world should look like and so on. So, but it’s a very different situation.”

When asked about the response of Buttigieg’s campaign to his ad criticizing the former South Bend mayor — which Buttigieg campaign spokesperson Chris Meagher told TPM that it  “speaks more to where he currently stands in this race” — Biden reiterated that Buttigieg has” been the one that’s been attacking me.”

“I never said a word about him. But he’s talking from the beginning about how I don’t have a record to run on, that Biden — all the problems from the past,” Biden said. “And it used to be Barack and me, now he found out how popular Barack is, so it’s now just me as if I wasn’t any part of that administration. And so I was responding to — I haven’t done this, I responded to his attacks on me.”

Watch Biden’s remarks below:

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