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Buttigieg defends big-dollar fundraisers: 'I am following' same practices as Obama

Buttigieg defends big-dollar fundraisers: 'I am following' same practices as Obama
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegSenate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary Biden to detail 'roadmap' for partnership with Canada in meeting with Trudeau Biden's infrastructure plan needs input from cities and regions MORE on Sunday defended his fundraising practices as the same as those used by former President Obama in the wake of criticism from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders has right goal, wrong target in fight to help low-wage workers Democrats in standoff over minimum wage Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack MORE (I-Vt.), a fellow 2020 White House hopeful. 

"I am following the same fundraising practices that President Obama did and that our leaders have," Buttigieg said on CNN's "state of the Union," adding that he's looking to draw in all available support. 

The former South Bend, Ind. mayor said the funds raised will allow him to win the nomination and build a foundation to take on President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident MORE in November. 

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"I don't define my campaign by whose support we reject," Buttigieg said. 

He also noted that his campaign is funded by more than 2 million contributions that he said average under $40, and highlighted a coalition that he said was built from "the ground up."

"I'm not a billionaire, I haven't been in politics for years and decades. I don't have the advantages of having been a senator," Buttigieg said. 

The former mayor has held big dollar fundraisers, a method of fundraising that has been rejected by Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenYellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill Hillicon Valley: Google lifting ban on political ads | DHS taking steps on cybersecurity | Controversy over TV 'misinformation rumor mills' MORE (D-Mass.), the two most progressive Democrats in the field.