Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg scored endorsements from three former Obama administration officials, his campaign announced Thursday, solidifying the South Bend, Indiana mayor’s top-tier status.
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Reggie Love, who filled a pivotal role in the White House, serving as former President Barack Obama’s special assistant and aide from 2007 to 2011, drew parallels between Buttigieg and his former boss, noting that he believes Buttigieg, as the youngest candidate in the Democratic race, "can galvanize a new electoral body that is a more accurate representation of what America actually is.”
“A lot of what is said about Pete echoes what critics said about presidential candidate Barack Obama – too young, too different, maybe another time – but I believe there is never a better time to fight for change than right now,” Love said in a statement provided by Buttigieg’s campaign.
The endorsement from a high-profile African-American official comes at a pivotal time for Buttigieg, who’s struggled to attract black voters, even as he’s surged to the top of some polls in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
The 37-year-old also nabbed endorsements from the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, and the former communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform, Linda Douglass.
Buttigieg’s meteoric rise from a virtually unknown mayor of the fourth-largest town in Indiana to a serious contender vying to unseat President Trump next year could pose a threat to frontrunner former Vice President Joe Biden, a rival centrist candidate.
Earlier in the week, Biden accused Buttigieg of “stealing” his health care policy proposal to expand the Affordable Care Act, one of the biggest legislative accomplishments of the Obama administration, by adding a public option that's open to all Americans but preserves the option for individuals to keep their private insurance.
Like Biden, Buttigieg has said he would offer public health insurance to those who want it while also maintaining private health care plans -- a proposal he dubbed "Medicare for all who want it."
Buttigieg’s campaign, however, pointed to statements from Buttigieg about "Medicare for all who want it" that he made before Biden announced he was running for president in April.