08:12 GMT26 February 2020
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    Since former mayor of South Bend, Indiana and contender for the presidential nomination from the Democratic Party Pete Buttigieg emerged as the winner of the Iowa Caucus, he has been under even closer scrutiny by the American public and his Democratic rivals.

    Pete Buttigieg, a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 US presidential election, landed in hot water over the weekend after his campaign published several CNN town hall clips from his Thursday speech at Saint Anselm College, editing them with fake applause and laughter.

    “Statistically, we run the risk of being the first generation in American history to actually be worse off economically than our parents if nothing is done to change the trajectory of this economy”, Buttigieg said during the event.

    “To me, that is not just a concern for our generation, it's a concern that calls on us to build an alliance among generations to try to make sure that the future really is better than the past”, he added,  prompting laughter and applause according to the published version of the clip.

    The apparent difference between the original footage featuring the presidential hopeful speaking about the financial issues of the current American generation was flagged by the Center for Popular Democracy Action (CPD Action), an organisation openly endorsing Bernie Sanders. The advocacy group published two versions of altered and unedited footage from the CNN town hall with the hashtag #SneakyPete, suggesting that Buttigieg’s remarks did not actually inspire any applause at that exact moment. The applause occurred only 10 seconds later when he finished his speech and the event’s moderator took the floor.

    The findings have met with different reactions among Twitter users, with some netizens expressing outrage at the Buttigieg campaign’s apparent “cheating”. Many, however, noted that the clip did not actually provide any fake content and was just a teaser for the town hall speech in a shorter version.

    Nevertheless, many netizens were not impressed by Buttigieg’s answers in general, noting that it just resembled a “word salad”.

    CPD Action later shared another edited version of a Buttigieg Q&A from the CNN town hall, provoking some more reactions from the public.

    Pete Buttigieg, 38, was belatedly announced as the winner of the Iowa Caucus from the Democratic Party landing 26.2% of state-delegate equivalents, narrowly edging out Bernie Sanders with 26.1%. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who came in fourth place, later suggested during a campaign add that the former South Bend mayor was not experienced enough to become the next American president. Donald Trump also subsequently got in a jab at Buttigieg, publicly asking to “explain” who the “hell Mayor Pete” was.

    Tags:
    presidential election, Iowa Caucus, United States, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Pete Buttigieg
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