Buttigieg criticizes ‘my way or the highway’ Sanders


Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg took a shot at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at the latest Democratic presidential debate on Friday, criticizing what he described as the senator’s “my way or the highway” brand of politics.

In some of his first remarks of the debate, Buttigieg said that Americans should reject “my way or the highway” politics. Moderator and ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos then asked whether he was referring to Sanders.

“Yes,” Buttigieg replied.

In response, Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, insisted that his agenda — sweeping policy proposals like a “Medicare for All” health care system — was the right platform to unite Americans. 

“The way you bring people together is by presenting an agenda that works for the working people of this country, not for the billionaire class,” Sanders said. “The way you bring people together … you raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.”

The exchange was the first between Buttigieg and Sanders since the Iowa caucuses this week, which ended with the two candidates in a near tie. With nearly all precincts reporting, Buttigieg led Sanders by a scant tenth of a percentage point in the State Delegate Equivalent count, the metric traditionally used to name a winner in the caucuses.

Both candidates have declared victory in Iowa, with Sanders pointing to his lead in raw vote totals in the first and second caucus alignments.

Still, the caucus results have been marred by apparent errors and inconsistencies that have cast a shadow over the first-in-the-nation nominating contest, which have so far done little to clarify the state of the presidential race.

Sanders and Buttigieg are now vying for the top spot in New Hampshire, which holds its primary Tuesday.

Tags 2020 election Bernie Sanders Democratic debate Democratic primary George Stephanopoulos Iowa caucuses New Hampshire primary Pete Buttigieg
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