Buttigieg responds to Sanders 'billionaire' attacks: 'Bernie's pretty rich and I would happily accept a contribution from him'

Buttigieg responds to Sanders 'billionaire' attacks: 'Bernie's pretty rich and I would happily accept a contribution from him'
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Former Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan dies How Republicans can embrace environmentalism and win MORE pushed back on his 2020 opponent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic MORE’s (I-Vt.) attack over the former South Bend, Ind. mayor accepting donations from billionaires. 

“Bernie’s pretty rich, and I would happily accept a contribution from him,” Buttigieg said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

Buttigieg also said that his campaign is focused on “making sure we bring everybody into the fight,” noting that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE and his allies are raising millions of dollars and the Democrat who faces him in November will need to be prepared. 

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“This is a fight of our lives,” Buttigieg said. 

His response comes after Sanders ramped up an attack on Buttigieg for accepting big-dollar donations as the two emerged as the top candidates after the chaotic Iowa caucuses. 

Sanders called Buttigieg the favorite candidate for Wall Street donors during a rally in New Hampshire on Friday. 

“I like Pete Buttigieg, nice guy, but we are in a moment where billionaires control not only our economy but our political process,” Sanders said.

Buttigieg on Sunday noted that he is “not a fan of the current campaign finance system,” and said that his campaign has largely been funded by donations averaging less than $40. 

“I’m a mayor of South Bend, it’s not like that’s an establishment fundraising powerhouse,” he said. “I’ve able to get here by putting together a movement.”