(TMU) — The campaign of former Mayor Pete Buttigieg garnered widespread mockery after it shared clips from a CNN town hall that inserted fake applause following a remark by the 38-year-old presidential hopeful.
In one of the clips shared by Team Pete HQ, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told an audience member in New Hampshire:
“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.”
In the live broadcast of Thursday night’s CNN event there was no audible applause following Buttigieg’s answer.
However, in the clip shared by the Buttigieg campaign canned applause was clearly added to the video—making it appear that his response garnered far more enthusiasm than it actually did.
The “artificial applause” was called out by Center for Popular Democracy Action, a group that is supporting the candidacy of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
— CPD Action (@CPDAction) February 7, 2020
In a separate tweet, the group called out “Sneaky Pete” for what it described as a devious approach by the former McKinsey consultant. The group wrote:
“This isn’t just an isolated edit. It’s part of a theme: Faking Black endorsements with the Frederick Douglass Plan. Faking Iowa victory before numbers came. Faking no fossil fuel money pledge. Faking small donations email scam. #SneakyPete will continue this.”
In a second video posted by CPD Action, laughter and applause are inserted after the candidate made a joke about how his name is pronounced.
The social media responses to the audio edits were predictably excoriating with Sanders supporters calling Buttigieg “Mayor Cheat” and a “rat.”
One Twitter user accused Buttigieg of spouting empty platitudes generated by an algorithm that would make him sound like former President Barack Obama, commenting:
“I’m more and more convinced that the Zuckerberg people that Pere hired generate his speeches using an AI programmed to do Obama talk.”
While another user noted:
“Pete Buttigieg steals elections from the multiracial working class AND inserts artificial audience applause into his videos. This guy as fake as fuck, not a true progressive with liberal values, at all, and the DNC is racist AF. #PeteOnCNN”
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