Democratic strategist rips Buttigieg's criticism of grassroots campaigns

Democratic strategist Kristen Hawn on Tuesday pushed back against Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden on whether Sanders can unify party as nominee: 'It depends' Biden lines up high-profile surrogates to campaign in Iowa Hill.TV's Krystal Ball: Failure to embrace Sanders as nominee would 'destroy' Democratic Party 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 John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet 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 Ann WarrenBiden on whether Sanders can unify party as nominee: 'It depends' Overnight Health Care — Presented by Philip Morris International — HHS has no plans to declare emergency over coronavirus | GOP senator calls for travel ban to stop outbreak | Warren releases plan to contain infectious diseases Biden lines up high-profile surrogates to campaign in Iowa 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