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2020 candidates Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden at the Democratic presidential debate in Miami, June 27. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden stepped up his attacks on 2020 rival Pete Buttigieg Saturday in Manchester, New Hampshire, ahead of the state's primary, telling reporters: "This guy’s not a Barack Obama!"

Why it matters: Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, finished far ahead of national front-runner Biden in the Iowa caucuses and is set to do so again in New Hampshire on Tuesday. The two candidates appeal to a similar moderate wing of the Democratic Party, but Biden has far stronger support among people of color.

Details: Biden made the comments when asked by a reporter if his questioning of the former South Bend mayor's political experience was an "act of desperation," noting that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made similar comments about Obama when she ran against him in 2008.

I do not believe we’re a party at risk if I’m the nominee. I do believe we’re a party at risk if we nominate someone who has never held a higher office than the mayor of South Bend, Indiana."
— Joe Biden

What they're saying: Per a transcript released to Axios by Buttigieg's campaign, the former South Bend mayor addressed criticisms questioning his political experience during the New Hampshire Democratic Party dinner.

  • "[T]hat is very much the point," he said. "Because Americans in small rural towns, in industrial communities and, yes, 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."

Buttigieg also addressed the attack on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday: "He's right. I'm not, and neither is he. Neither is any of us running for president."

  • "This isn't 2008," he continued. "It's 2020, and we are in a new moment, calling for a different kind of leadership."

Flashback: Biden told Newsweek of Obama in 2007, "I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. ... It is not something that lends itself to ... on-the-job training." He later said during a Democratic debate that year he stood by that statement.

Go deeper: Biden targets Buttigieg on race

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.

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