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HOLY CRAP! LOL! Trump's new nickname for Pete Buttigieg? 'Alfred E. Neuman'


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President Trump mocked Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Friday afternoon, comparing the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., to the longtime mascot for Mad magazine.

“Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States,” the president said, referring to the decades-old Mad character in an interview with Politico.

"We have a young man, Buttigieg. Boot-edge-edge,” Trump told Politico sarcastically. “He’ll be great representing us against President Xi of China. That’ll be great. I want to be in that room, I wanna watch that one."

Buttigieg, a relative political newcomer, has surprised many political observers by consistently polling ahead of higher-profile Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke and Kamala Harris.

 

Alfred E. Neuman has been the official cartoon face of Mad since 1956.

Alfred E. Neuman has been the official cartoon face of Mad since 1956. (Getty)

Buttigieg, who has been mayor of South Bend since 2012, is a former Navy Reserve intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan. He's also a Rhodes scholar and the first openly gay major-party presidential candidate.

Although he has been criticized for his lack of executive experience in running for president, Buttigieg still has more experience than Trump had when he won. The mayor has also been criticized for his youthfulness, which may have been part of the president’s dig in reference to the adolescent-looking Neuman. Buttigieg is just two years older than the 35-year-old age requirement to run for president.

When asked about Trump's insult, Buttigieg claimed he'd never heard of the Neuman character.

"I’ll be honest. I had to Google that," Buttigieg said. "I guess it’s just a generational thing. I didn’t get the reference. It's kind of funny, I guess.

"But he’s also the president of the United States and I’m surprised he’s not spending more time trying to salvage this China deal,” Buttigieg said in reference to Friday’s trade talks with China.

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Mad magazine, Buttigieg bite back at Trump mockery

Mad magazine got in on the action between President Trump and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Saturday, after Trump compared his young political rival to a cartoon mascot from the venerable humor mag.

First, Trump took aim at Buttigieg, the Democratic mayor of South Bend, Ind., at a “Make America Great Again” rally on Wednesday calling him “Boot edge edge.”

“He has a great chance, don't he? He will be great,” Trump said sarcastically. “Representing us against President Xi of China, that will be great. That will be great. I want to be in that room and I want to watch that one.”

But Trump was far from finished with the young Dem. The president, who has repeatedly assigned unflattering nicknames to political foes, dug into Mad magazine history to find an apt one for the 37-year-old Buttigieg.

On Friday, in an interview with Politico, Trump declared that "Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States.”

 

Alfred E. Neuman has been the official cartoon face of Mad since 1956.

Alfred E. Neuman has been the official cartoon face of Mad since 1956.

Neuman is the cartoon mascot and cover boy of the magazine, known for his red hair, the gap in his teeth and the catchphrase "What, me worry?"

But Mad dates back to the 1950s, and Buttigieg, the youngest candidate in the 2020 race, responded by saying he didn't really get Trump’s reference. (The character became a magazine icon under editor and publisher Al Feldstein, who was in charge of Mad from 1955-1984.)

“I’ll be honest, I had to Google that,” Buttigieg told Politico on Friday. “I guess it’s just a generational thing. I didn’t get the reference. It’s kind of funny, I guess.

"But he’s also the president of the United States and I’m surprised he’s not spending more time trying to salvage this China deal,” he said. That was a pointed reference to economic talks with Beijing that ended Friday without reaching a conclusive deal.

For its part, Mad couldn't resist adding its own voice to the political back-and-forth with a tweet about Buttigieg's lack of knowledge about Alfred E.: “Who’s Pete Buttigieg? Must be a generational thing.”

 

Who’s Pete Buttigieg? Must be a generational thing.

 
 
 
 

About Neuman:

"I want a definitive portrait of this kid,” Feldstein recalled in a 2007 interview with AV/TV Club. “I don't want him to look like an idiot — I want him to be loveable and have an intelligence behind his eyes. But I want him to have this devil-may-care attitude, someone who can maintain a sense of humor while the world is collapsing around him."

As for Buttigieg, though he was the butt of a Trump joke that may have eluded him because of his age, he has consistently polled higher than other, better-known Democratic contenders, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, making him a promising pick for the 2020 elections and raising the specter of future references to Mad's gap-toothed mascot.

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