A top aide to Hillary Clinton rebuked South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg’s past remarks on the 2016 election, calling them “indefensible” on Twitter.
Nick Merrill, who serves as Clinton’s spokesperson, expressed outrage Friday over a January Washington Post Magazine article in which Buttigieg, a fellow Democrat, argued that President Donald Trump rose to power “because, in his twisted way, he pointed out the huge troubles in our economy and our democracy.”
Buttigieg then called out former candidate Clinton, adding that Trump “didn’t go around saying that America was already great, like Hillary did.”
Merrill denounced the comments and praised Clinton’s platforms, pointing out that “Trump ran on pessimism, racism, false promises, & vitriol.”
“Interpret that how you want, but there are 66,000,000 people who disagree,” he said. “Good luck.”
Buttigieg, who at 37 years old is the youngest candidate in the crowded field of Democrats alongside Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (H.I.), has enjoyed growing popularity in recent weeks with a stream of media appearances and social media attention.
During a Thursday speech in San Francisco, Buttigieg criticized Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again,” describing it as a disingenuous tagline.
“It means ‘we’re going to stop the changes so you don’t have to change anything’ and it’s not honest,” he said. “You can’t have an honest politics that revolves around the word ‘again.’”