Coming off of a bounce that had him sharing victory in Iowa, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has come out swinging. Mayor Pete, who claimed victory in the hotly contested and controversial Iowa caucuses, has had a target on his back of late, and he fired back after taking shots from rivals former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Biden, who recently released an ad that appeared to mock Buttigieg’s political experience, had said of the ex-mayor, “He’s no Barack Obama.” Buttigieg threw it right back.
“Well, he’s right, and neither is he,” Buttigieg told “Fox News Sunday” in a lengthy interview. “Neither is any of us, and this isn’t 2008. This is 2020.”
Buttigieg later continued his war of words with Sanders, who took a shot at Buttigieg over his financial backing during Friday night’s Democratic debate.
“Unlike some of the folks up here, don’t have 40 billionaires, Pete, contributing to my campaign, coming from the pharmaceutical [industry], Wall Street and all the big-money interests,” Sanders said.
Buttigieg responded Sunday by looking at his ultimate goal: winning the general election.
“We are building the movement that is going to defeat Donald Trump,” Buttigieg said. “I want everybody to help out.”
The former mayor said it does not matter to him how wealthy a supporter is if they are willing to help his campaign and be a part of his mission. Buttigieg said his campaign has received 2 million contributions, with the average being “under 40 bucks.”
Buttigieg said rather than dividing the Democratic base, he is looking to unite people behind him.
“I’m building a campaign that’s not defined by who we reject. It’s defined by belonging, it’s defined by inclusion. It’s defined by pulling together the coalition to get the job done,” he said.
Buttigieg also addressed an issue that came up during Friday’s debate regarding statistics related to black people being more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.
“That disparity is there, and it’s there in our city and across the country,” he said while saying that the big picture is that “in my city, black residents were less likely to be arrested on drug charges than in the state or in the country.”
Still, Buttigieg said “the disparity is real,” and is part of why he supports legalizing marijuana. He also endorsed decriminalizing other drugs to treat rather than incarcerate addicts and those with mental afflictions.
Meanwhile, the results of the Iowa caucuses were finally made official on Sunday. And Pete Buttigieg has right in claiming victory. Buttigieg won 14 delegates and Bernie Sanders will be awarded 12, following the party’s disastrous first-in-the-nation caucuses last week, which were plagued with “glitches” and apparent inaccuracies in crucial voting data.