Buttigieg: 'Medicare for all,' free college tuition are 'questionable on their merits'

Buttigieg: 'Medicare for all,' free college tuition are 'questionable on their merits'

White House hopeful Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Airlines suspend US flights in response to 5G deployment AT&T, Verizon to delay 5G rollout near certain airports MORE questioned the legitimacy and popularity of some of the more progressive plans laid out by his fellow 2020 candidates.

The South Bend, Ind., mayor told CNN's David Axelrod Saturday on "The Axe Files" that Medicare for All and free college tuition plans, championed by progressives in the race, are "questionable on their merits" and "pretty far out from where Americans are."

"I do think that we should be realistic about what's going to work. And just flipping a switch and saying we're instantly going to have everybody on Medicare just like that -- isn't realistic," Buttigieg told CNN. 


"I think that when it comes to a lot of these policies that we're being pushed to do -- say that we can pay down the last penny of tuition for any student including the child of a billionaire. These are things that are questionable on their merits and of course also pretty far out ... from where Americans are," he added.  

Buttigieg is center left to some of the more progressives candidates in the crowded field. Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows - Russia standoff over Ukraine dominates Sanders says Biden can't count on him to support 'almost any' spending package compromise Sanders says Republicans are 'laughing all the way to Election Day' MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenArizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Biden stiff arms progressives on the Postal Service MORE (D-Mass.), two top-tier candidates vying for the party nomination, support a Medicare for All proposal. 

Fellow candidates Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTo stabilize Central America, the US must craft better incentives for trade Majority in new poll say US headed in wrong direction Biden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' MORE (D-Calif.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioHochul raises .6 million since launching gubernatorial campaign De Blasio says he won't run for New York governor Watershed moment in NYC: New law allows noncitizens to vote MORE (D) also raised their hands during the first round of debates when asked if they support eliminating private health insurance. 

Buttigieg supports a "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan, as a pathway to Medicare for All. 

Sanders and Warren have also lead the field in proposing progressive plans to cover college tuition and forgive student loans. 

According to Buttigieg's campaign website, he supports debt-free college for lower income families through a state-federal partnership that makes public tuition affordable or free at lower incomes and large increases in Pell Grants to provide basic living expenses.