DECORAH, Iowa (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg directly criticized his top rivals in Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, arguing Thursday that either would mire Washington in fights of the past.
“This is no time to get caught up in reliving arguments from before,” Buttigieg told more than 400 in a refurbished hotel theater in northeast Iowa. “The less 2020 resembles 2016 in our party the better.”
Sharpening significantly his approach with four days left until the state’s caucuses, Buttigieg cited Sanders’ attacks on Biden for supporting the measure that authorized the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and Biden’s decades-old statements by Biden about Social Security.
“Look, I feel very strongly about the Iraq war,” said Buttigieg, who opposed the war as a college student. “But hearing arguments over who said what when in 2003 is besides the fact that this is 2020, and we’ve got to not only learn the lessons of the war in Iraq but to make sure we don’t’ get sucked into a war with Iran.”
Polls show the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, locked in a tight race for the lead in Iowa, where he has campaigned aggressively in the run up to the Feb. 3 caucuses.