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Democratic strategist rips Buttigieg's criticism of grassroots campaigns

Democratic strategist Kristen Hawn on Tuesday pushed back against Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote Biden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks MORE's criticism of small-dollar donations.

Buttigieg, asked recently about candidates who only take small donations, referred to such contributions as "pocket change" and said the party needs to raise small and large donations to compete with President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE.

“I definitely think it was a gaffe,” Hawn, a senior advisor at Rokk Solutions, told Hill.TV in reference to the "pocket change" remark. 

“You shouldn’t say that because the small dollars do matter because we’ve seen practically speaking — they add up,” she added.

However, Hawn maintained that she understood where Buttigieg was coming from, saying progressives have started to use campaign contributions as a way to "vilify large employers." 

Hawn’s comments come after Buttigieg came under fire for his criticism of the fundraising tactics employed by progressive candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Philly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (D-Mass.). Warren's campaign rejects high-dollar donations, and even recently launched a a sweeping new plan to get "big money" out of politics.

In response to a question over Warren’s small donor strategy, Buttigieg said that Democrats are “not going to beat Trump with pocket change.”

“He has tremendous amounts of support and allies at his back, and we're not going to beat him with pocket change,” he told Snapchat host Peter Hamby on Monday in reference to the president. "I think you need the full spectrum of support in order to compete, especially if we want to go against someone like Donald Trump."

Trump and the Republican National Committee have raised a combined $125 million in the third quarter.

Warren, meanwhile, has raised $24.6 million in the third quarter, compared to Buttigieg’s $19.1 million.

—Tess Bonn