In a presidential debate with no clear winner, it’s nice when someone pulls out all the stops after the damn thing is over. Mayor Pete Buttigieg (or, at least, one of his supporters) managed a surprising last-minute coup on Wednesday during the final minutes of the fourth Democratic debate. That’s when former Vice President Joe Biden offered his closing statements of the evening, a final plea, if you will, to the American people. While most of the candidates plugged their own personal websites during their final statements, Biden offered up something entirely different:
Joe Biden either thinks he’s going to be alive in 30330 or he has no idea what his own website is… pic.twitter.com/WqrZhquYmY
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) August 1, 2019
“If you agree with me, go to Joe 30330 and help me in this fight,” Biden said. “Thank you very much.”
Problem was, no one knew exactly what that meant. Was he asking viewers to visit a website? Did he want texts? Judging by the reaction of many observers on Twitter, the answer was entirely unclear.
Supporters of Buttigieg, meanwhile, wasted no time in co-opting Biden’s flubbed moment for their own gain. Within minutes, internet users noticed that the domain joe3030.com, which was not active earlier in the day, was now redirecting to PeteForAmerica.com, complete with a brightly colored yellow box that just begs you to plug in your personal information and learn more about the young mayor from South Bend, Indiana.
Will you take the bait? If you like Buttigieg enough, please do. In a tweet, Biden’s social media team later clarified that the former vice president wanted supporters to text Joe to 30330.
Buttigieg wasn’t the only one to co-opt the moment. Another domain, joe30330.com, redirects to a phony campaign website by someone named Josh, who describes himself as “the first Gen Z’er to declare candidacy for this office.”
If none of these hijinks strike you as especially amusing when our country and world are in such dire straits, then perhaps check out a more apocalyptic debate moment—when entrepreneur Andrew Yang suggested people should start moving to “higher ground” due to climate change.
Andrew Yang essentially says we’re all screwed on climate change, so therefore we all need more money in our pocket so we can move to “higher ground” pic.twitter.com/78Ge1B2zLp
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 1, 2019