Biden Goes Negative In New Hampshire With Race-Based Ad Against Buttigieg

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not just losing support at a rapid rate, but he has lost any moral high ground with a negative attack ad against former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg suggesting that he has a problem with African Americans. The ad below focuses on the fact that Buttigieg fired an African American police chief and fire chief. It does not address the merits of those decisions but suggests that race may have been a motivator for the firings. In other words, it strongly suggests (without having the courage to state directly) that Buttigieg has a racism issue. There is absolutely no support for such a claim. It is a raw and grossly unfair ad. Buttigieg refrained from referring to Biden as the Vice President jokingly referred to a voter as “a lying, dog-faced pony solider.” Remarkably, in his interview with ABC this morning, George Stephanopoulos seemed to brush over the substance of the attack ad or the underlying decision.

Of course, such negative attacks are nothing new. John Adams’ campaign called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”

Biden has been increasingly relying on his firewall in South Carolina and his hold on African American votes as his selling point. It has increasingly hit jarring notes. He also has downplayed New Hampshire as a lock for senators in nearby states — though Buttigieg is from Indiana and Biden is from Delaware (hardly the deep South or Northwest). This ad however plays to his claim as the choice of African Americans, a claim that may start to wear on those voters who have yet to vote in significant numbers.

The ad declares “When public pressure mounted against him, former Mayor Pete fired the first African American Police Chief of South Bend. And then he forced out the African American fire chief, too.”

It is hard to watch the add and not conclude that Buttigieg is either an outright racist or a threat to minorities. Otherwise, he had a reason for the actions. If he did have such a reason, is Biden suggesting that he should have retained two officials who he believed were not serving the public interest simply because of their race? The ad suggests that under no circumstances should Buttigieg have fired two African Americans. It also suggests that Biden would have retained them, regardless of the merits, rather than fire two African Americans.

Buttigieg has explained that he received complaints about South Bend Police Chief Darryl Boykins recording and listening to conversations of officers and that he was told that both officials faced possible criminal charges in a criminal investigation. Buttigieg maintained that he acted to stop criminal charges and told the South Bend Tribune that “charges were not filed because we acted to satisfy federal authorities.” That premise has been questioned since prosecutors do not usually trade terminations for declinations for prosecutions. However, while aspects of underlying record seemed to support both sides of the controversy, even his detractors said that Buttigieg was trying to do the right thing.

Buttigieg stated that he learned a lot from the controversy:

“For a lot of people, this wasn’t about the nuances of the Wiretap Act,. This was about whether they could trust their police department . . . In retrospect, I probably placed too much confidence in that chief at the outset and that’s obviously a mistake I would not have made again. Also, that was the last time I made the mistake when firing somebody who is a direct report to me, not doing it in person, having a direction conversation about why that was taking place.”

Again, the merits of such accusations have been argued from both sides. However, the ad leaves the impression that race alone either caused their termination or that case alone should have prevented their termination. This may be a valid issue for Biden to question the judgment of Buttigieg but it is incumbent upon him to do more than just cite the race of the officials.

Much of the ad mocks Buttigieg for his small-town problems and small-town accomplishments. That is fair game if rather nasty. However, it is the race element that pushed this ad over the line. It is a desperate sucker punch from a boxer who lost one round and is about to lose another:

88 thoughts on “Biden Goes Negative In New Hampshire With Race-Based Ad Against Buttigieg”

  1. More On Trump’s Budget

    Major Cuts To Social Safety Nets

    Recall Trump’s repeated promises not to “touch” Social Security and Medicare? Even as the elderly population swells, his budget calls for removing half a trillion dollars of funding from the Medicare program over 10 years, including $135 billion from Medicare prescription drugs, and tens of billions from the Social Security program.

    In 2015, he promised not to touch Medicaid, either. Now he wants to cut it by $920 billion.

    He was going to give Americans health care “much better” than Obamacare. But he has proposed no such thing and now his budget calls for cutting spending on the program by $844 billion.

    Oh, and remember his vows that his tax cuts would grow the economy by 4 percent, 5 percent or even 6 percent? Last year it grew at 2.3 percent, and his new budget, even with the rosiest of assumptions, projects 2.8 percent for this year. Yet the budget would also devote another $1.4 trillion to extending those tax cuts, primarily for the rich.

    Edited from: “Trump’s Budget Reveals A Major Fraud”

    This Evening’s Washington Post

    1. Glad subsidies are falling off as denial of the basic fact that when you don’t have to generate power that you collect and distribute it’s a lot more cost effective. Long time coming. Coming down to the wire with consequences though..

  2. Henry Davis, Jr.
    @iamhenrydavisjr

    As a Councilman in #SouthBend, I know why @PeteButtigieg looked like a deer in headlights last night when talking about systemic racism in the South Bend Police. He tolerated it, he perpetuated it, and last night he lied to millions of Americans about it.”

    And don’t forget about that app Pete and Hillary Clinton’s paw prints are all over

    And having the gold standard poll pulled for the first time in 74 years because one #SneakyPete voted complained
    And lying about winning!

    You can’t make it up!

    Samuel D. Finkelstein II
    @CANCEL_SAM

    The Nevada Democratic Party just hired a paid Buttigieg organizer to be their “Voter Protection Director”
    https://mobile.twitter.com/

    Emily just locked her Twitter account and scrubbed her employment history from LinkedIn.
    For posterity: her position as Voter Protection Director still shows up with a Google search.
    Feel free to check for yourself.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/

  3. Professor Turley, I enjoy your commentaries; that’s why I subscribe. But again and again I see typos — not just misspelled words, but sentences that don’t make sense — which indicate you’re typing much too fast and proofreading not nearly enough. As here:

    “Buttigieg refrained from referring to Biden as the Vice President joking referred to a voter as ‘a lying, dog-faced pony solider’.”

    Huh? “Jokingly” rather than “joking”? But even beyond that and beyond the “solider” misspelling, what does the sentence mean? What does it mean to convey? And later:

    “However, the ad leaves the impression that race alone either caused their termination or that case alone should have prevented their termination.”

    “[O]r that race slone,” not “or that case alone….”

    A typo once in a while is understandable, but when they appear in commentary after commentary — as they indeed do — they suggest sloppiness, and they diminish your credibility. I don’t think you want that.

    Bertram P. Goltz, Jr.

  4. The vicious anti-Buttigieg attack ad shows Biden and his advisors are terrified at his loss to three of his opponents in the Iowa primaries.

    In the Iowa caucuses, Biden lost by roughly three-to-one, which implies that the American heartland has a strong “Anyone but Biden” constituency. The reasons should be obvious.

    Taking up the cudgel in the Ukraine for a company which later hired someone with Hunter Biden’s qualifications to a position on their Board of Directors was pretty raw by the Democrats’ standards for what constitutes “abuse of power”.

    By insisting that Donald Trump’s personal request for an investigation into the Bidens’ activities in the Ukraine, the Democrats made it very hard for Joe Biden to dismiss similar issues with Joe Biden’t boast that when he held up foreign aid to that country, they did his will – and that his son was hired for a position he wasn’t really qualified for soon thereafter.

    Why, exactly, did Joe Biden think the DNC chose someone else to run for the Presidency in 2016? Biden didn’t need to boast about pushing the Ukrainians around for the DNC to know what he did for his son in the Ukraine and in the Navy (who suddenly discovered they needed to grant Hunter Biden a waiver to become the oldest ensign in the US military).

    Joe Biden is beating Pete Buttigieg up in attack ads to distract voters from Biden’s own very heavy baggage.

  5. Going to really vicious attack ads this early in the campaign shows Joe Biden and his campaign strategists (quoting Jimmy Buffett’s song “Fool Button”, “if any of them can be found”) are having colonic spasms over his Iowa loss.

    Iowan Democrats, before this year described as living in the American heartland, voted for Anyone but Biden at least three to one. This year’s Iowa caucus seemed to be about “who’s got the least liabilities?”.

    Independent-minded New Englanders may think much the same way, so New Hampshire isn’t going to smooth things over for Biden (though Sanders is going to probably benefit from the Favorite Son Effect in the same way any votes Bobby Jindal got in the 2016 primaries would have come from Louisiana).

  6. Mayor Pete does have a race problem. Black people dislike gay people at a higher rate than the general population, statistically shown via many many surveys. Just how it is.

    1. Either that or they are just less afraid of admitting it than white people. Most white folks I know don’t hate gays, but they sure don’t think they’re normal or anything. I do not think they want one of those people as President.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    2. If my own experience of blacks is representative, ‘dislike’ is the wrong word. In my experience, blacks aren’t hostile to homosexuals. They just don’t take them seriously and regard them as figures of fun.

      For gentry liberals, your attitude toward sexual deviance defines in groups and out groups and is a justification for all manner of harassment by figures in authority. They actively admire homosexuals (or pretend to) and have neuralgic reactions to people who are dismissive of them or critical of them. Most people outside the social circle of gentry liberals have a craven reaction to this sort of self-assertion (by homosexuals and gentry liberals alike, which is too bad).

      For gentry liberals, everything about Buttigieg as a person is a reason to support him. For normal people, it simply isn’t, because they don’t valorize those personal traits. (And, being normal people, homosexuals aren’t living rent-free in their heads).

      What do normal people (including the working-class majority in the black population) see when they look at Peter Buttigieg? Well, they see someone who is rather young to be running for the office that he is, someone who is likely padding his resume, someone whose worldview is distorted from having been the only child of two people immersed in faculty life, someone whose worldview has been further distorted by immersing himself in an Ivy League milieu in school and after (at McKinsey), someone who has no children, someone who cannot put together a fruitful domestic life with a woman, someone appended to a gitchy-goo character named ‘Chasten’ (and isn’t their dog cute?).

      1. Absurd………The statistic a couple of years ago: 75–80% of black Protestant preachers preach, from the pulpit, that homosexuality is a sin.
        Liberals are fine with that, because the preachers are black. Just ask Frankln Graham.

      2. TIA’s homophobic rant at least explains his admiration for Trump:

        Normal parents and childhood, solid family life, and married (at least for now) to a girl next door type. Norman Rockwell would think it corny and boring.

        1. Sounds good, ByTheBook. I will trade you, on my card set (of course), 1 boring life, in lieu….for 1 “Grinning Man/Ingrid Cold” and 1 Egyptian “Set.”

          (I’m just kidding, jokes, girls got jokes.) 😉

            1. I am just alluding to my bad luck, i.e., I happened to be driving on Las Virgenes in Calabasas, when the helicopter with all those persons came down, including Kobe. Wrong place, wrong time….I guess. Very sad and tragic….shocking, of course, that too.

              That’s why I say we can trade lives….on our deck of cards.

  7. Black anti-homosexual bigotry will prevent Petey from gaining any traction in the Southern primaries. We all know the truth that some bigotry is more acceptable than other bigotry. Hence the charade.

    1. I don’t believe (and no-one really believes) that as a nation we’re going to go from having President Donald and First Lady Melania Trump in the White House to a President Pete and and his husband Chasten playing the role of First Lady-Gentleman in the White House. 2016 was quite a change to digest. If he wasn’t gay, nobody would be paying any mind to Mayor Pete. First Lady-Gentleman Chasten isn’t happening in 2020. I do hope that Sanders picks him as a VP mate. It will further suppress the AA and all other demographic vote save maybe the college aged.

  8. “Former Vice President Joe Biden is not just losing support at a rapid rate, but he has lost any moral high ground with a negative attack ad against former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg suggesting that he has a problem with African Americans. ”
    *****************
    The Party that eschews and then trashes any semblance of morality cannot, by definition, have the moral high ground in any matter, same goes for their leaders — senile or not.

    1. “The Party that eschews and then trashes any semblance of morality cannot, by definition, have the moral high ground in any matter, same goes for their leaders — senile or not.”

      It only took the Democrats four presidential terms (and a concerted campaign by the mass media) to overcome the Clintons’ abandonment of any semblance of morality.

      The Clinton’s Famiy Foundation seemed to be modeled after Imelda Marcos’ “personal charities” – the informal fee for access to her husband Ferdinand’s ear rule over the Philippines. That same foundation founders now that no one in the Clinton family is now a Senator or a Secretary of State. Bill Clinton didn’t spurn half-million dollar speaking fees from Russian banks while his wife could have ended the Uranium One sale to Rosatom (complicating Russian access to huge uranium deposits in Kazakhstan).

      Yet, just over half of votes cast in the 2016 Presidential campaign were for the only candidate in the 2016 Presidential race who actually accepted money from Russia. After she lost on electoral college votes, Hillary Clinton’s party still clamors that they have the moral high ground. An entire false narrative depends from that claim.

      The reason I am not a Republican is their national party’s reluctance to rub the Democrats’ noses in every scandalous act of theirs which escaped being a scandal – because nobody in a position of authority in the Republican party ever called attention to such acts. Forcing the Democrats’ captive press to explain to their viewers every time they cover a Democrat scandal up might have made a difference in 2016. But no one did.

      Not that anyone in the Libertarian Party has a chance in this year’s campaign. Justin Amash is smoking strong dope if he thinks his campaign for the LP nomination’s going anywhere. But people have shown, by electing Donald Trump and pantsing Joe Biden in the Iowa primary that there are limits to “business as usual”.

      At the very least, coalition politics are beginning to be important in America. The DNC is leaning on Democratic Socialists in the way the Republicans have been able to lean on Tea Partiers and Libertarians for support in Presidential elections. The RNC will eventually learn to sign an armistice with the Tea Party or come to accept losses to Democrats in every Congressional and Presidential race.

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