Trump compares Pete Buttigieg to Alfred E. Neuman of MAD. Mayor says he had to Google it

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“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.”

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is fond of using unflattering comparisons and backhanded nicknames to describe his political rivals. Jeb Bush was “low-energy,” Marco Rubio became “Little Marco,” Joe Biden was called “Sleepy Joe,” and so on.

On Friday, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigeig became “Alfred E. Neuman.”

In an interview with Politico, Trump said “Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States,” referring to Buttigieg. Alfred E. Neuman is the longtime wispy haired boy mascot of MAD magazine.

When asked, Buttigieg told Politico, “I’ll be honest. I had to Google that,” he said. “I guess it’s just a generational thing. I didn’t get the reference.”

“But he’s also the president of the United States,” Buttigieg continued, before referencing the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks. “I’m surprised he’s not spending more time trying to salvage this China deal.”

To some, the comment seemed dated.

New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman noted that such a reference “might have worked better twenty years ago.”

The magazine hit back, asking on Twitter: “Who’s Pete Buttigieg? Must be a generational thing.”

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