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 ButtigiegButtigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates HuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession MORE pushed back on his 2020 opponent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight 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 TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves 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.”