Buttigieg says he’d accept money from Bloomberg if he becomes nominee
Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday he would accept donations from Michael Bloomberg for his White House campaign if he becomes the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
“Sure,” Buttigieg said during a CNN town hall Tuesday night when asked if he’d take funds from Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman and rival presidential contender.
“This is the moment to bring everybody that we can into this effort, and I promise exactly one thing in return for any contribution, which is, we’re going to take that contribution and use it to go beat Donald Trump,” Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg’s remarks came after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declined to answer a question during an earlier CNN town hall when asked whether he would accept money from Bloomberg if he became the party’s nominee.
Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper when pressed on the question that he doesn’t have a super PAC and “I don’t think we’re going to need that money.”
Bernie Sanders at first doesn’t answer CNN’s Anderson Cooper on if he would accept a large contribution from Michael Bloomberg.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 19, 2020
Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have hammered Buttigieg over his high-dollar fundraisers, with the pair suggesting the former South Bend, Ind., mayor is beholden to the interests of wealthy Americans.
“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 earlier this month.
Buttigieg has defended his fundraisers with wealthy donors, saying as the former mayor from Indiana he does not have the same personal resources that his competitors have.
“I’m a mayor of South Bend, it’s not like that’s an establishment fundraising powerhouse,” he said this month. “I’ve able to get here by putting together a movement.”
Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, has donated to political candidates of both parties in the past. He is currently plowing hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money into his presidential bid to support an advertising blitz and exploding campaign staff, and has surged in recent polls.
Buttigieg agreed with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday night when she asked if Bloomberg was trying to “buy” the Democratic nomination.
“I mean, what else do you call it?” Buttigieg said. “What else do you call it when you dip into your reserves of millions and billions and don’t go through the process of campaigning in states like Nevada, Iowa or New Hampshire, going into the diners and the backyards, looking eye to eye?”