Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has been a less than welcome presence among others vying for the nomination along the campaign trail.
More experienced Democrats hoping to clinch the 2020 Democratic nomination have seen Buttigieg’s rise to fame and successful fundraising as a thorn in their own efforts. During an early campaign stop, former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, was surprised to see the 37-year-old South Bend, Indiana, mayor approach him for a greeting. “‘Hello, Mr. President,’ Mr. Biden said, in a voice dripping with condescension,” noted an article in the New York Times.
“In the still-crowded Democratic presidential field, one man has triggered an outpouring of resentment and angst,” it said. “It’s not Donald Trump.” Buttigieg, whose only effort to achieve public office higher than mayor was an unsuccessful run for Indiana state treasurer, has raised substantial money from high-dollar and grassroots donors as his campaign has gained steam. He has raised more money than any other Democratic candidate except independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
California Sen. Kamala Harris called Buttigieg “naive” after he said the Democratic primary was getting to be a “two-way race” between him and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Biden also dismissed Buttigieg’s claim that he was headed to the front of the pack. “Well, good, I hope they do well,” he said.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar expressed agitation that Buttigieg’s star continued to rise despite his limited qualifications. “Could we be running with less experience than we had? I don’t think so,” she said. “I don’t think people would take us seriously … I think it’s important to look at someone’s track record to see what’s happened when they’ve run statewide,” she said. “There’s got to be some value put on someone that has been able consistently to show that they can bring people with them. Not in one fluke race, but every single time.”
Buttigieg dismissed concerns that his lack of service in high office should be a handicap to his campaign. “This is not a contest for who is the most established, it’s a contest for who is the most convincing,” he said. “The better we do, I imagine the more we’ll feel some heat, but that just means we’re doing well.”
Beto O’Rourke, 47, a similarly young, inexperienced candidate who ended his bid for the presidency last Friday, was also miffed by Buttigieg’s success on the campaign trail and referred to him as a “human weather vane.” Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, 45, chided Buttigieg for being unable to attract minority voters. “It is very risky to nominate a candidate that can’t attract black and Latino voters,” he said. “He’s going by the old playbook of following the focus groups, going by what political consultants tell you.”
Buttigieg is currently polling at a national average of 7%, trailing only Biden, Sanders, and Warren. Last weekend, at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration, Buttigieg secured the coveted first speaking slot and was greeted by nearly 16,000 people. He told the crowd the current runner-up, Elizabeth Warren, was delivering a costly and divisive message in her campaign. When it was her turn to speak, Warren fired back. “I’m not running some consultant-driven campaign with some vague ideas that are designed not to offend anyone,” she said. The last to speak, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, said of Buttigieg to the significantly shrunken crowd, “He got 9,000 votes in a college town that last voted for a Republican in 1964.”
Dismissing the litany of disparaging remarks from the field of fellow Democratic candidates, Buttigieg vowed to forge on. “I’m not going to comment on the emotions of my competitors,” he said.
The post New York Times: Biden greeted Buttigieg in ‘voice dripping with condescension’ appeared first on Washington Examiner.