Deleted Biden campaign ad slamming Buttigieg’s lack of experience resurfaces amid multiple crises
A political campaign ad released by President Biden's campaign ahead of the 2020 presidential election attacking Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a presidential candidate in Democratic primary, for his inexperience has resurfaced amid a series of crises.
The Biden campaign released the ad on published Feb. 8, 2020, days after the Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses and days before the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary. The video — which slammed Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, for his inexperience — was eventually deleted in December 2020 after Biden announced he would select Buttigieg to lead the Transportation Department during his administration.
'When President Obama called on him, Joe Biden helped lead the passage of the Affordable Care Act which gave health care to 20 million people,' the now-deleted ad stated. 'And when parkgoers called on Pete Buttigieg, he installed decorative lights under bridges, giving citizens of South Bend colorfully illuminated rivers.'
'Joe Biden helped save the auto industry which revitalized the economy of the Midwest and led the passage and implementation of the Recovery Act, saving our economy from a depression,' it continued. 'Pete Buttigieg revitalized the sidewalks of downtown South Bend by laying out decorative brick.'
The ad also stated that while Biden helped pass a ban on assault weapons and the Violence Against Women Act, Buttigieg fired the first African-American police chief of South Bend and forced out the African-American fire chief as well.
'We're electing a president,' it concluded. 'What you've done matters.'
Buttigieg won the highest number of delegates during the Iowa caucus and, despite the ad, finished in second behind Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the New Hampshire primary. Buttigieg ultimately dropped out of the race on March 1 and Biden won the Democratic nomination with relative ease months later.
On Dec. 15, 2020, Biden selected Buttigieg for transportation secretary and deleted the ad that ripped the former small town mayor.
'He speaks to the best of who we are as a nation,' Biden said at the time. 'I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because he's equipped to take on the challenges at the intersection of jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate.'
However, an archived copy of the ad resurfaced multiple times over the last week following a slate of recent crises facing the Department of Transportation under Buttigieg's leadership.
Fox News Digital reported on Wednesday that Buttigieg traveled to Europe on a military aircraft to attend the Fifth Invictus Games with his husband Chasten Buttigieg last spring. The report came less than a month after a separate Fox News Digital report highlighting the Cabinet official's extensive use of government private jets, a practice that resulted in a resignation under former President Donald Trump.
In addition, Buttigieg has been battered by various crises including significant supply chain snarls, a potential rail strike and widespread commercial airline delays.
'Joe Biden warned us,' Steve Guest, an adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted. 'His campaign nuked Mayor Pete for his lack of experience.'
Republican communicator Matt Whitlock also posted about the deleted ad last week, saying, 'Regular reminder that before he named him as Transportation Secretary, Joe Biden mocked Mayor Pete for his inexperience, noting that one of his greatest accomplishments was installing twinkly lights under bridges. Probably should’ve listened to his own ads.'
'This was one of the most devastating ads of the Dem Primary,' Whitlock tweeted. 'And a huge indictment of the Biden team’s decision to name Pete a cabinet Secretary.'
In an email to Fox News Digital on Wednesday, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates declined to answer any questions about the ad, choosing instead to defend Buttigieg's use of a military plane to attend a sporting event in Europe.
'Could you please show us Fox’s similarly critical reporting from when Trump Administration officials and their spouses took military flights to the Invictus Games to support American veterans, before Pete Buttigieg — a Navy veteran who the President is proud to have serving in this administration — did the exact same thing?' Bates said.
Fox News Digital production assistant Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.
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