Nov 11, 2019

Buttigieg: "Old normal" failures help explain how we got Trump

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a town hall in Walpole, New Hampshire, Sunday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Editor's Note: The original version of this story was based on an incorrect quote in a story in the L.A. Times, which has since been amended. L.A. Times reporter Evan Halper's tweeted statement is below. The original story is under that, in full.

  • "My story about @PeteButtigieg ends with him referring to the 'failures of the Obama era.'"
  • "That’s an inaccurate quote — the result of transcribing a noisy recording at a loud rally. His exact words were 'failures of the old normal'. I deeply regret the mistake. When we make errors we own them. This one really hurts because it went viral."
  • "Here’s the candidate’s full remark: 'I also fundamentally believe that there is no going back. My message is not about going back to where we were. I think because I come from a part of the country where normal has been a real problem for a very long time, and I think the failures of the old normal help explain how we got to Trump, I am much more interested in building a future that is going to have a lot of differences.'"

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Original story below:

2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg sought on Sunday to stand out from his top-tier Democratic presidential rivals by linking the rise of President Donald Trump to the administration of his predecessor Barak Obama, per the Los Angeles Times.

What he's saying: "My message is not about going back to where we were," the LA Times reports the South Bend Mayor as saying. "The failures of the Obama era help explain how we got Trump. I am running on building a future that is going to have a lot of differences.… One thing I learned in 2016 is to be very skeptical of any message that relies on the word 'again.'"

Why it matters: Buttigieg is looking to set himself apart from fellow top-tier moderate former Vice President Joe Biden "by offering himself as the viable moderate alternative" to Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, per the New York Times.

The big picture: Axios' Fadel Allassan notes his efforts appear to be working, as a New York Times/Siena College poll of voters likely to attend the Iowa caucuses shows him gaining ground, with 18% backing him as Biden slipped to 17%. (Warren and Sanders were polling at 22% and 19%, respectively.)

Go deeper: Pete Buttigieg on the issues, in under 500 words

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Pete Buttigieg surges to the top of new Iowa poll

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Monmouth University poll released Tuesday has Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic presidential race in Iowa for the first time.

The big picture: Since Monmouth's last Iowa poll in August, Buttigieg gained 14 points, surging ahead of the race's group of longtime frontrunners, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019

Black South Bend city council leader endorses Biden over Buttigieg

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Oliver Davis, the longest-serving African American man on the Common Council of South Bend, Ind., endorsed Joe Biden over Pete Buttigieg, the city's mayor, reports Politico.

Why it matters: The endorsement highlights two common criticisms of Buttigieg: his lack of political experience beyond local government and his struggle to appeal to black voters.

Go deeperArrowNov 22, 2019

Trump campaign attacks Buttigieg during Democratic debate

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and "Black Voices for Trump" sent coordinated mass emails during the Democratic debate Wednesday attacking Mayor Pete Buttigieg for his record on race and policing in his hometown of South Bend, Indiana.

Why it matters: As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported on Sunday, top Republicans are taking Buttigieg seriously as a potential general election candidate after his breakout poll in Iowa and his rise in New Hampshire. Several top Trump advisers have raised concerns that Buttigieg is more talented than Joe Biden and that he will be harder to brand as a leftist radical than Sens. Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.

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