Twitter blew up on Pete Buttigieg for criticizing Barack Obama… in a fake quote

Pete Buttigieg
South Bend's Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a rally to announce his 2020 Democratic presidential candidacy in South Bend, Indiana, U.S., April 14, 2019 Photo: Shutterstock

A misquote of 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful and South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg went viral and was widely criticized before the reporter who made the mistake corrected it.

LA Times journalist Evan Halper wrote an article that contained the following misquote attributed to Buttigieg: “The failures of the Obama era help explain how we got Trump.” That would be a bold statement because Barack Obama remains a popular figure in the Democratic Party, and attributing the rise of Donald Trump to Obama’s “failures” would be seen as putting the blame in the wrong place.

Related: Hate mail is making Pete Buttigieg’s mom worry about his safety

This led to the #ByePete hashtag blowing up on Twitter as people criticized Buttigieg, calling him arrogant, conservative, and disloyal to the Democratic Party.

Even competitor and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro tweeted about quote, but he later deleted the tweet.

But it turns out that Buttigieg never blamed Obama for Trump in the first place.

Halper tweeted early this morning that Buttigieg actually blamed “the old normal,” not “the Obama era.” Halper blamed the noise at the rally for the misquote.

He also said he “deeply regrets the mistake.”

The LA Times updated the article but hasn’t stated that the original version of the article was in error.

The Buttigieg campaign released audio and a transcript of the exchange in question, which was about how Buttigieg plans to distinguish himself from former Vice President Joe Biden.

And Buttigieg thanked the reporter for the apology.

“From health care to DADT repeal to the rescue of the auto industry, my appreciation of the great leadership of Barack Obama comes from a very personal place,” he tweeted.

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