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 ButtigiegButtigieg's new book, 'Trust,' slated for October release Biden hires top aides for Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights MORE swiped at progressive Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTammy Duckworth is the epitome of the American Dream On The Money: Deficit rises to record .7 trillion amid pandemic: CBO | Democrats sidestep budget deal by seeking 0B in emergency spending | House panel advances spending bill with funding boost to IRS Biden-Sanders unity task force calls for Fed, US Postal Service consumer banking 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.