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 ButtigiegChasten Buttigieg: DC 'almost unaffordable' JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE pushed back on his 2020 opponent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWomen's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan 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 TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit 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.”