Sanders hits back at Buttigieg, Biden over donors

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) hit former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE over billionaire donors to their campaigns.

“Pete mentions what the American people want. I will tell you, Pete, what the American people want and, Joe, what the American people want. They don’t want candidates to be running to billionaires for huge amounts of funding,” Sanders said at Tuesday night’s debate in Charleston, S.C. “Pete has gotten funding from over 50 billionaires. Joe, I think, has gotten a little bit more.” 

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Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), both vocal progressives in the primary race, have hit Buttigieg and other candidates over collecting donations from billionaires.

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Warren repeatedly hammered Buttigieg in particular at a debate last year, attacking the former mayor for holding a fundraiser in a California “wine cave.”

Buttigieg defended his fundraising, saying his campaign is largely fueled by grassroots contributions and that he would not disavow donations from billionaires to boost his White House bid.

“Sen. Sanders has got people believing something that is untrue about my campaign, the idea that most of my campaign is funded by billionaires. In Charleston alone, just in Charleston, over 2,000 people have contributed to my campaign. That means the dollars that have come to my campaign just from Charleston is more than the dollars that have come from the 50 people that you mentioned. Grassroots contributions are the lifeblood of my campaign,” he retorted to Sanders. 

“If you’re watching right now and you’re a billionaire, I will raise your taxes. But if you’d like to defeat Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, please … donate the legal maximum of $2,800,” he added.

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