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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero November 21, 2023

Did Pete Buttigieg say Joe Biden is unfit to serve? No, this video is miscaptioned

If Your Time is short

  • The video does not show that. During the exchange with Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called President Joe Biden a "vigorous" boss.

A viral video on Facebook showed a heated exchange between U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a Democrat. 

In a 2022 hearing, Nehls cited some of President Joe Biden’s gaffes, relating it to Buttigieg’s criticism of former President Donald Trump’s state of mind. The clip included this exchange:

Nehls: "Have you spoken with any other Cabinet members about implementing the 25th amendment on President Biden?"

Buttigieg: "First of all, I’m glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle. And —"

Nehls: "Answer the question."

Buttigieg: "I will look beyond the insulting nature of that question and make clear to you that the president of the United States —"

Nehls: "Have you spoken to any —"

Buttigieg: "Of course not."

The 25th Amendment allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet, or another body as determined by Congress, to declare a president "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

But a Facebook post misinterpreted what Buttigieg said: "SAVAGE: Troy Nehls FORCES Pete Buttigieg to admit that Biden is unfit to serve," the Nov. 17 post’s caption says.

Screenshot from Facebook

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The four-minute video does not show Buttigieg admitting Biden is unfit to serve.

The video was clipped from a July 2022 hearing. The exchange happened around the three-hour mark, when Nehls started asking Buttigieg about Biden’s capacity to serve as president. 

After Buttigieg said he has not spoken to any other Cabinet members about invoking the 25th Amendment, he added, "The (president) of the United States is as vigorous a colleague or boss as I have ever had the pleasure of working with."

Nehls’ time for inquiry expired after that exchange. 

Later in the Facebook video, a man provided commentary and said, "So, Congressman Troy Nehls absolutely corners Pete Buttigieg here, practically forcing him to admit, or at least see very clearly, undeniably, that Biden is unfit for office mentally and in many other ways."

But the video doesn’t show Buttigieg making such a declaration. We rate that claim False.

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Did Pete Buttigieg say Joe Biden is unfit to serve? No, this video is miscaptioned

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