/Wine caves and billionaires: Buttigieg under fire over fundraising at Democratic debate

Wine caves and billionaires: Buttigieg under fire over fundraising at Democratic debate

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rising Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg got here under assault throughout a debate amongst U.S. presidential hopefuls on Thursday, as his rivals questioned his lack of Washington expertise and criticized his fundraising from rich donors.

Senator Elizabeth Warren criticizes South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (L) through the sixth 2020 U.S. Democratic presidential candidates marketing campaign debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

During the sixth and final debate of the yr for Democratic candidates looking for their get together’s nomination to problem President Donald Trump within the November 2020 election, an intensifying feud between main contenders Buttigieg and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren over transparency and fundraising burst to the floor.

The exchanges underlined the growing stakes within the Democratic race seven weeks earlier than the primary contest within the state-by-state nominating course of in Iowa on Feb. three. Opinion polls present the race up for grabs, with Buttigieg taking the lead in Iowa and former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Warren combating for the highest in nationwide polls.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, lagging the frontrunners and pinning hopes on a robust exhibiting in Iowa to propel her candidacy, additionally took a shot at the expertise of Buttigieg, 37, evaluating her accomplishments within the Senate to his public file.

Warren questioned whether or not Buttigieg, mayor of the Indiana metropolis of South Bend, was beholden to his big-money donors and described his ritzy, closed-door fundraiser in a wine collapse California. In a shot at Buttigieg, Warren stated she didn’t promote entry to her time or “spend time with millionaires or billionaires.”

“Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the president of the United States,” stated the Massachusetts senator, who doesn’t maintain big-ticket fundraisers and has targeted her marketing campaign on combating corruption and company greed.

“This is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass,” Buttigieg shot again at Warren, who has a web value within the hundreds of thousands of , noting he was the one candidate on the stage who was not a millionaire or billionaire.

“Your web value is 100 instances mine. We want the assist kind all people who’s dedicated to serving to us beat Donald Trump, Buttigieg stated.

Klobuchar, in the meantime, famous his failure to win statewide election in Indiana.

“Try constructing a coalition to win re-election with 80% of the vote as a homosexual dude in Mike Pence’s Indiana,” Buttigieg stated, referring to the U.S. vice chairman, who beforehand served as governor of Indiana and is an opponent of homosexual rights.


The debate got here someday after Trump’s impeachment within the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives, and the candidates promised to make the case to a divided American public that Trump’s impeachment was needed. They stated his management had diminished the nation’s stature and respect overseas.

“It’s not only in the Middle East we see the consequences of the disappearance of U.S. leadership,” Buttigieg stated, noting Trump was ridiculed behind his again at a latest gathering of world leaders. “It’s not just the mockery at a cocktail party. … It’s the looks on the faces.”

In a historic vote, the House impeached Trump on costs of abuse of energy and obstruction of Congress arising from his request that Ukraine examine Biden and Biden’s son Hunter, who had joined the board of Ukrainian vitality firm Burisma whereas his father was U.S. vice chairman.

Klobuchar stated she needed to listen to testimony from prime White House aides at the Republican president’s trial due subsequent month within the Republican-led Senate, which is able to decide whether or not Trump is faraway from workplace.

“If President Trump thinks he should not be impeached, he should be not scared to put forward his own witnesses,” Klobuchar stated. “The president is not king in America. The law is king.”

The candidates acknowledged that the American public is break up over impeachment, with Republicans largely opposing it and Democrats favoring it. But they stated it’s a elementary query of proper and fallacious. The candidates stated they’d attempt to persuade the general public of Trump’s unsuitability for the workplace.

“We have to prosecute the case against him, and that means we need a candidate for president who can draw the sharpest distinction,” stated Warren, who will function a juror within the Senate trial.

Sanders, one other of the jurors, stated the United States “cannot have a president with that temperament who is dishonoring the presidency of the United States.”

With deep and widening partisan divisions within the United States, Biden made the case for the significance of Democrats with the ability to work with Republicans.

“I refuse to accept the notion – as some on this stage do – that we can never never get to a place where we have cooperation again. If that’s the case, we are dead as a country,” Biden stated.

“If anyone has reason to be angry with the Republicans and not want to cooperate it’s me,” Biden added. “They have attacked me and my son and my family. I have no love. But the fact is, we have to be able to get things done.”

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The debate’s timing – coming every week earlier than the vacations and amid the impeachment fireworks in Washington – may scale back the viewers and the advantages for the Democrats as they search a lift forward of the voting in Iowa.

In a celebration that prides itself on its range, the debate lineup has been criticized for being practically all-white – Asian-American entrepreneur Andrew Yang is the one minority candidate to qualify.

“It’s both an honor and a disappointment to be the only candidate of color on the stage,” Yang stated.

Reporting by Ginger Gibson and Tim Reid; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Will Dunham

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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