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Buttigieg says he didn't mean to predict a two-way race with Warren

 Buttigieg says he didn't mean to predict a two-way race with Warren
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South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden administration in talks with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for India ambassador post: reports Business groups target moderate Democrats on Biden tax plans Biden plugs infrastructure with a personal favorite: Amtrak MORE, a Democratic presidential hopeful, is walking back previous comments he made saying the Democratic primary could turn into a two-way race between him and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers Schumer works to balance a divided caucus's demands DNC gathers opposition research on over 20 potential GOP presidential candidates MORE (D-Mass.) after facing criticism from other contenders in the race. 

"I don’t remember the exact context," Buttigieg told reporters in Iowa on Saturday, referring to comments he originally made on Showtime's "The Circus" indicating that he saw the large Democratic field shrinking to a “two-way” race between himself and the Massachusetts senator.  

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The mayor on Saturday added that he did not think the comments came out right before emphasizing the strength of the other contenders in the race. 

"Look, the bottom line is this is a really strong competition among really strong campaigns," he said. 

Buttigieg on Monday was asked again about his two-way race comments in an appearance on CNN, answering that he was "not going to comment on the other campaigns." 

The mayor faced pushback for the comments over the weekend, notably from Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisCaitlyn Jenner on Hannity touts Trump: 'He was a disruptor' Nearly half of women say they're more stressed amid pandemic: survey Alabama museum unveils restored Greyhound bus for Freedom Rides' 60th anniversary MORE (D-Calif.), who called the remarks "naive." 

"Well, I think ... that it’s naive for him to think that at this point, that the fate of this election has been determined," she said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Just look at history. You might need to review to know that what’s happening right now is not necessarily determinative of the outcome."

Buttigieg has risen in recent Iowa polls, polling in the top four with Warren, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCaitlyn Jenner on Hannity touts Trump: 'He was a disruptor' Argentina launches 'Green Mondays' campaign to cut greenhouse gases On The Money: Federal judge vacates CDC's eviction moratorium | Biden says he's open to compromise on corporate tax rate | Treasury unsure of how long it can stave off default without debt limit hike MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Biden campaign promises will struggle if Republicans win back Congress Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers McConnell sidesteps Cheney-Trump drama MORE (I-Vt.). 

In addition to gaining traction in polls, Buttigieg has also exchanged jabs with Warren. 

Buttigieg knocked Warren's "Medicare for All" plan as a "my way or the highway" approach on Sunday. 

“What is just not true is that hers is the only solution. This 'my way or the highway' idea. That either you’re for kicking everybody off their private plans in four years or you’re for business as usual, it’s just not true,” Buttigieg said on ABC’s “This Week.”