By David Kamioner | December 19, 2019
The knives came out during the sixth Democratic primary debate on Thursday night — this one held in Los Angeles — as Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, came under fire from the very candidate from whom he’s stealing votes in Iowa, Sen. Elizabeth Sanders (D-Mass.).
The subject was fundraisers.
Warren hit him with a cliché binge over his alleged “closed-door,” “wine-cave” fundraisers filled with “rich people in smoke-filled rooms.”
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Buttigieg struck back with a vengeance.
He tossed off that he was the only candidate on the stage who was “not a millionaire or billionaire” — including Warren in that group. And he castigated Warren for “purity tests” you can’t match after he revealed that up until very recently, she was raising money from the very people she said he’s now taking campaign donations from.
Buttigieg clearly won the exchange — and left Warren sucking air in yet another futile effort at portraying herself as an “everyday working American,” not as an extremist, left-wing Ivy League law professor who got her job through race hustling. (Remember her awkward beer-drinking episode on video?)
“I’m literally the only person on this stage who’s not a millionaire or billionaire… This is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass.” – Mayor Pete Buttigieg responds to Sen. Elizabeth Warren calling him out on hosting big ticket fundraisers. #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/hjEIkG2lMb
— CNN (@CNN) December 20, 2019
When they took a moment’s breath, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) tried to horn in with odd, alphabetically defined talking points. Although the audience gave her some shout-outs, Klobuchar made her nervous-seeming comments in a grating pitch and annoying manner.
Warren, for her part, tried to re-engage and almost accused Buttigieg of corruption by saying she didn’t “sell access to my time” in response to his defense. But it was too little, too late. She was a spent force by then, arms wildly flailing under the klieg lights, physically showcasing her sad attempt to grasp at any little thing to get her out of the argument.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), from whom Buttigieg is also taking support in Iowa, tried to get a shot in at Buttigieg.
But he chimed in after the debate on the point was over, essentially.
These exchanges took up just several minutes in the larger debate, but they were indicative of the tension between Warren and Buttigieg. And it won’t be the last testy exchange in the primary season between them, as she tries to claw back voters who have switched to the young mayor in Iowa and elsewhere.
This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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