Former Vice President Joe Biden accused Pete Buttigieg of “stealing” his health plan in remarks to reporters aboard his campaign bus in Iowa on Monday.
Reuters reports: “Biden would add a ‘public option,’ allowing individuals to opt into a government plan but preserving the existing role for private insurers. Like Biden, Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, favors the public option and coined the phrase ‘Medicare for all who want it’ to describe the concept.”
“He stole it,” said Biden, according to media reports, saying he would have been attacked by the press if he had done the same. “What would you have done to me? You’d have torn my ears off.”
Reuters adds: “A spokesman for Buttigieg’s campaign declined to comment but pointed to statements by Buttigieg about ‘Medicare for all who want it’ that pre-date Biden’s current presidential campaign.”
Biden has until now refused to directly attack Buttigieg, telling reporters earlier this week: “Anything I say about Pete will be taken as maybe criticism or a negative about Pete, and I don’t have any negative feelings about Pete at all. I think he’s a talented guy. I think the American people and people of Iowa are looking for somebody who doesn’t need a whole lot of on-the-job training.”