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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 Buttigieg'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' Biden's win is not a policy mandate — he should govern accordingly 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 TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden 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 WarrenThomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks 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