At last night’s Democrat debate, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and one of the legions of Democrat candidates for president Pete Buttigieg responded well to attacks by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

She started out quite puffed up and pleased with herself as she launched into a holier-than-thou tirade about Buttigieg’s “wine cave” fundraiser.  It wasn’t long, however, before Buttigieg landed a few home truths that left her visibly shaken and extremely defensive.

The National Review reports:

Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren sparred on the debate stage Thursday night over fundraising, with the South Bend, Ind., mayor telling Warren “this is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass” after she accused him of catering to wealthy donors.

“The mayor just recently had a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine — think about who comes to that,” Warren stated, referencing a private-donor dinner in Napa Valley that Buttigieg held Sunday.

“He had promised that every fundraiser that he would do would be open door, but this one was closed door,” Warren argued. “We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke-filled rooms would not pick the next president of the United States. Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States.”

Buttigieg responded by pointing out Warren was far wealthier than him. “According to Forbes magazine, I am literally the only person on this stage who is not a millionaire or a billionaire,” he said. “This is important — this is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass.”

Buttigieg argued that “if I pledge never to be in the company of a progressive Democratic donor, I couldn’t be up here.”

“Senator, your net worth is 100-times mine,” he said, asking Warren her opinion of a max donation from a wealthy individual — “would that pollute my campaign?”

Warren, at this point was visibly taken aback and looked both angry and shocked that Buttigieg would point out a simple fact like that.

She fired back with the well-worn—and thoroughly debunked—claim that she doesn’t use money from big dollar fundraisers for her presidential campaign.

The National Review continues:

After Warren replied “I do not sell access to my time,” saying “if you want to donate to me that’s fine, but don’t come around later expecting to be named ambassador, because that’s what goes on in these high-dollar fundraisers,” Buttigieg challenged Warren for using holdover funds from past campaigning — including donations from wealthy donors.

“Senator, your presidential campaign right now, as we speak, is funded in part by money you transferred, having raised it at those exact same big-ticket fundraisers you now denounce,” he said. “Did it corrupt you, Senator? Of course not . . . these purity tests shrink the stakes of the most important election upon us.”


Buttigieg, of course, is correct. Mary blogged about Warren’s shady shifting of big donor monies from her Senate campaign to her presidential campaign, and we’ve also covered Warren sending a cardboard cutout and top campaign surrogates to big donor fundraisers as a means of weaseling around her pledge.


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