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Buttigieg hits Bloomberg, Sanders: 'Let's put forth someone who is actually a Democrat'

Buttigieg hits Bloomberg, Sanders: 'Let's put forth someone who is actually a Democrat'
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential contender Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE swiped at progressive Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay MORE (I-Vt.) and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg in his opening comments at Wednesday's Democratic debate, saying primary voters don't want the contest to come down to "one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another candidate who wants to buy this party out."

"Most Americans don't see where they fit if they've got to choose between a socialist who thinks that capitalism is the root of all evil and a billionaire who thinks that money should be the root of all power," the former South Bend, Ind., mayor said at the forum, hosted by NBC News, in Las Vegas. 

"Let's put forward someone who actually lives and works in a middle-class neighborhood in an industrial, midwestern city. Let's put forth someone who is actually a Democrat," he continued.  

Buttigieg went on to spar with Sanders over the behavior and rhetoric of a segment of Sanders's supporters amid the fallout from the Nevada Culinary Union's disagreement with Sanders's "Medicare for All" plan. 

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"When you say that you disown these attacks and that you didn't personally direct them, I believe you," Buttigieg said. "But at a certain point, you've got to ask yourself, why did this pattern arise? Why is it especially the case among your supporters?"

"I don't think it's especially the case, by the way," Sanders responded.

"That's just not true," Buttigieg hit back.

The back-and-forth was just one of the clashes between the candidates at the Nevada debate on Wednesday. In addition to Sanders, Bloomberg was one of the top targets on stage, given his recent rise in the polls.