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Saagar Enjeti: Buttigieg shouldn't be taken seriously as top-tier candidate

Hill.TV host Saagar Enjeti dismissed South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegConservative operatives Wohl, Burkman charged in Ohio over false robocalls LGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress Buttigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration MORE's debate performance, saying the White House hopeful shouldn’t be taken seriously as a top-tier candidate in the crowded 2020 Democratic field.

“Pete Buttigieg last night asked us all to take him very seriously, and unfortunately, it was revealed that he is a fundamentally unserious candidate,” Enjeti said Friday.

“Not only from his polling with African Americans but with his dated calls for change, while not actually changing anything,” he added, pointing to Buttigieg’s campaign fundraising tactics as a prime example.

Buttigieg was a top target on Thursday’s debate stage, facing criticism over his experience and fundraising practices.

Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Dems want hearing on DOD role on coronavirus vaccine | US and India sign data-sharing pact | American citizen kidnapped in Niger Conservative operatives Wohl, Burkman charged in Ohio over false robocalls Senate Democrats want hearing on Pentagon vaccine effort MORE (D-Mass.) had the most significant clash of the night after the Massachusetts senator made a passing remark about candidates who take big-dollar donations.

"I can't help but feel that might have been directed at me," Buttigieg said, before defending his fundraising practices and noting that Warren also took money from large donors before launching her presidential bid.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIntercept bureau chief says congressional progressives looking to become stronger force in 2021 Obama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom MORE (I-Vt.) also ripped Buttigieg over his fundraising strategy, comparing him to fellow contender, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska Jeff Daniels narrates new Biden campaign ad for Michigan MORE.

“My good friend Joe, and he is a good friend, he’s received contributions from 44 billionaires. Pete on the other hand, is trailing, Pete,” Sanders said from the debate stage. “You only got 39 billionaires contributing.”

The attacks come amid a renewed focus on Buttigieg, who has ascended the early state primary polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire.