Former Bush official blasts Buttigieg: 'He is not ready'

A former President George W. Bush administration official blasted Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE over his lack of experience in national politics, which she argues makes him underqualified for the Oval Office.

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Sheila Bair, the former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), said Democrats are “almost maniacal in their eagerness to oust” President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and in doing so are less focussed on the qualifications of their candidates. 

“Enter Pete Buttigieg, whose primary asset seems to be a thin résumé,”Bair wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday in The Washington Post.  


“He hasn’t done much to prove his chops in the national political arena. On the other hand, his lack of a record would provide scant fodder for Trump to exploit in a general election,” she added of the former South Bend, Ind., mayor.

Bair dismissed comparisons she said some have made between Buttigieg and former President Obama during his 2008 campaign. 

Bair said she worked with Obama when she chaired the FDIC, a position she held until 2011, bluntly adding, “Pete Buttigieg is no Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHarris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden Valerie Jarrett: ‘Democracy depends upon having law enforcement’ MORE.” 

“Obama was, and is, an exceptional, inspirational leader, skilled politician and grass-roots organizer,” she wrote, adding that he was 10 years older than Buttigieg and had served four years in the U.S. Senate before his presidency. 

Bair admits in the op-ed that she is a Republican and has never voted for a Democrat. She said that in 2016, she “voted negative,” choosing the Libertarian Party ticket. She said she would “prefer not to do so again” but signaled that she may if Buttigieg were the nominee. 


“I like Buttigieg and would be happy to endorse him … 20 years from now, after he has proved himself. Today, however, he is not ready,” she wrote.  

She named former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) as two candidates “with strong records of pubic achievement.” 

A spokesperson for the Buttigieg campaign responded to Bair’s comment in a statement to The Hill defending the mayor’s leadership and his years serving in the military. 

“As Pete said at a recent debate, Washington experience is not inherently more valuable than the ‘experience of knowing what is at stake as the decisions made in those big white buildings come into our lives, our homes, our families, our workplaces, and our marriages,’” spokesperson Sean Savett said.

“That’s the experience the American people are looking for: not just to go to Washington, but to change it before it is too late.”

Updated: 9:44 p.m.

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