Buttigieg Defends Big Money Donors: Can't "Unilaterally Disarm" Against Trump | Video | RealClearPolitics

Buttigieg Defends Against AOC Criticism Of Big Money Donors: Can't "Unilaterally Disarm" Against Trump

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Speaking to "FOX News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg defended against criticism from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that his campaign does not value small-dollar donations.

"You're not going to beat [Trump] with pocket change," Buttigieg said earlier this week.







"Small-dollar grassroots campaigns, aka what Buttigieg insults here as 'pocket change,' out-fundraise him by millions. Our nation's leaders should be working to end the era of big-money politics, not protect it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted last week.

"First of all, you don't go from mayor of South Bend to a competitive presidential candidate without knowing a thing or two about grassroots campaigning. My campaign is fueled by the contributions of almost 600,000 individual donors, and most of those are small contributions," Buttigieg said Sunday during an interview on "FOX News Sunday."

"What I'm saying is that we can't go into this fight against Donald Trump with one hand tied behind our back," he continued. "Look, the president of the United States and his allies just raised $125 million. They will pull out all of the stops to stay in power. And I think we have a responsibility to the country to make sure that we go into this fight as Democrats with everything that we've got, and not unilaterally disarming."

WALLACE: Not surprisingly, the left is firing back at you when Elizabeth Warren said that she will not participate in big fundraisers, even if she is the Democratic nominee against Donald Trump in -- next fall. You said this, let’s put it on the screen, we are not going to beat him -- Trump -- with pocket change.

Here’s how Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded. Small dollar grassroots campaigns, aka what Buttigieg insults here as pocket change, out fundraised him by millions. Our nation’s leaders should be working to end the era of big money politics, not protect it.

So, what do you have to say to AOC?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, first of all, you don’t go from mayor of South Bend to a competitive presidential candidate without knowing a thing or two about grassroots campaigning. My campaign is fueled by the contributions of almost 600,000 individual donors. And most of those are small contributions. What I’m saying is that we can’t go into this fight against Donald Trump with one hand tied behind our back.

Look, the president of the United States and his allies just raised $125 million. They will pull out all of the stops to stay in power. And I think we have a responsibility to the country to make sure that we go into this fight, as Democrats, with everything that we’ve got, and not unilaterally disarming.

We indeed need to end the era of big money politics. That’s why campaign finance reform is so important. And it will never happen as long as the folks currently in charge stay there.

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