Pete Buttigieg says that the Obama administration met the moment of their day and “now we have to meet this moment.”
Buttigieg sought to turn his relative lack of experience in politics into an advantage at Friday’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire.
He was challenged by Joe Biden, who listed off some of his accomplishments during a long tenure in politics, including the Violence Against Women Act. Biden said, “I don’t know what about the past of Barack Obama and Joe Biden was so bad” and called for “someone who knows how to get things done.”
In his reply, Buttigieg noted the accomplishments of the Obama administration and said that “now, we have to meet this moment.”
Biden and Buttigieg have previously clashed over a contrast in their ages and elected experience.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar unloaded on Buttigieg at the presidential debate for saying that watching the chaos in Washington almost made him want to change the channel to cartoons.
“It’s easy to go after Washington,” she said Friday, but “it’s much harder to lead.”
Klobuchar took Buttigieg to task especially for his mockery of the Senate impeachment proceedings. She noted the “courageous” votes of Democratic Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. Both men voted to convict Trump — Romney on one count — and remove him from office.
In her sharpest blow, Klobuchar implicitly compared Buttigieg’s argument to the man Democrats hope to topple in November. “We have a newcomer in the White House now, and look where it got us,” she said. “I think having some experience is a good thing.”
The candidates brought a renewed intensity to Friday night’s debate following the chaotic results of the Iowa caucuses.