South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is making an aggressive move he surely hopes will put him on par with fellow Democratic presidential contenders Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Ahead of Tuesday night’s debate, Buttigieg released an ad attacking the “Medicare for All” proposals favored by Sanders and Warren, which is a surefire way to get the hard-left progressive faction of the party stirred.
This is precisely what was seen when former Bronx bartender and self-described socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez directed her ire at Buttigieg.
The timing of the ad, titled “Makes More Sense,” is certain to impact Tuesday night’s Democratic debate in Westerville, Ohio, likely ensuring more face time for the openly gay mayor as his rivals push back.
The digital ad features television personalities talking about Buttigieg’s plan for health care, comparing it to the “Medicare for All” proposal.
Joe Lockhart, a CNN political analyst and former press secretary to President Clinton, is seen in a clip saying, “Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren believe that we have to force ourselves into Medicare for All, where private insurance is abolished.”
“Mayor Pete said, ‘Medicare for all who want it.’ That’s a much better formulation,” CNN political commentator Van Jones said in another clip.
Sanders and Warren’s plans essentially eliminate private health insurance, while the mayor’s plan provided both options.
“The ad highlights Pete’s bold approach to health care would not kick millions of people off their private health care, and would give them the option to choose the plan that’s right for them,” his campaign said in a released statement.
You know, that infamous promise that if you like your current plan you can keep it?
Buttigieg also went at Warren over her small-donor strategy.
“We’re not going to beat Trump with pocket change,” he said, potentially to defend his own acceptance of big-money donations.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to a tweet on this issue and on Buttigieg disagreeing with Beto O’Rourke, another radical progressive, on a mandatory gun buyback program, essentially sticking up for Warren and O’Rourke.
“Small-dollar grassroots campaigns, aka what Buttegieg 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. & Beto’s gun policy isn’t ‘picking a fight,’ it’s taking a stand,” she tweeted.
Small-dollar grassroots campaigns, aka what Buttegieg 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.
& Beto’s gun policy isn’t “picking a fight,” it’s taking a stand. https://t.co/a6k7rgXHiD
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 14, 2019
As usual, Ocasio-Cortez steps into a quagmire of her own making, getting hit for reacting to sound bytes AND for misspelling Buttigieg’s name.
Here’s a sampling of the responses from Twitter:
Interesting everyone’s going after mayor Pete……. is there some underlying bias I wonder
— Neal Varma (@Neo_Varma) October 14, 2019
This is strangely out of character for you. These comments are critiques of quotes taken out of context, but also aren’t as coherent as usual. Every candidate can be picked apart in this way so I’m curious what prompted your criticism here.
— PoliPhinosaur (@phinosaur) October 15, 2019
Wait…”Warren’s small donor fundraising”?@AOC, please don’t let this be signaling. Please tell me that you’re going to endorse the only real leftie in the race. I truly hope that the waiting is a strategy and that you’ll #EndorseBernie
— Wib Jest ? (@WibJest) October 15, 2019
I admire you but feel this is low for you. Pete does not sell and has never sold his soul to the highest bidder and no one understands weapons of war more than a veteran. Please stop attacking the one guy that can possibly unite America and make kindness the standard.
— princess_Babs (@princessBabs3) October 15, 2019
Did u know that @PeteButtigieg has implicitly defended u & Rep. Omar from Trump’s attacks on where you’re from? The least you could have done before inserting yourself in this was to watch the video. Reporters twist things sometimes to get more clicks on T. You should know this.
— New New Yorker for Pete ??? (@NYC_Loving_Girl) October 15, 2019
Wow! Guess dirty politics got to you too! pic.twitter.com/WHCYDI8Bm9
— CountryMama (@CountryMamaRose) October 15, 2019
I usually agree with what you have to say, but I have to say I’m really disappointed in this tweet. I watched the exchange and I feel like you’re really stretching here without doing the research. Be more responsible. Pete is not the enemy…. and it’s spelled “Buttigieg” fyi.
— Rebecca (@RebeccainKC) October 14, 2019
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