Mayor Pete Buttigieg made headlines this week when he compared members of Bernie Sanders’ base to supporters of President Donald Trump, suggesting that both groups share feelings of marginalization and a desire to tear down the system. But as Fox News reports, fans of the Vermont senator aren’t too happy with Buttigieg’s remarks.
“Come on @PeteButtigieg. It is intellectually dishonest to compare Bernie to Trump,” Representative Ro Khanna wrote on Twitter before listing policy differences between the president and Bernie Sanders.
But others, including FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, aren’t so surprised. Silver went as far as to shoot down the criticisms proposed by Sanders supporters.
“This is an extremely weird Narrative coming from some Sanders surrogates. Buttigieg’s comments were extremely boilerplate, basically that Trump and Sanders voters both suffer economic anxiety and are disaffected with the system.”
New York-based writer M. Mendoza Ferrer echoed Silver’s sentiments, highlighting how strange it is that Sanders supporters are upset with Buttigieg for claiming that both Trump and Sanders backers have economic anxiety and are disaffected with the system — ideas Ferrer claims are a big part of Sanders’ platform.
Buttigieg made the Trump-Sanders comparison before a group of New Hampshire high school students during a campaign stop.
“I think the sense of anger and disaffection that comes from seeing that the numbers are fine, like unemployment’s low, like all that, like you said GDP is growing and yet a lot of neighborhoods and families are living like this recovery never even happened.”
— The Resurgent (@resurgent) April 22, 2019
The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, added that these emotions turn people against the system — and make them more inclined to vote against it. He suggests that these people ultimately pledge support for people like Sanders and Trump.
Per Vice News, Buttigieg wrote an award-winning essay about Sanders as a teenager. Now, the mayor is presenting himself as a moderate alternative in the 2020 race — and even attended a “What To Do About Bernie” dinner hosted by wealthy Democratic donor and Hillary Clinton supporter Bernard Schwartz. Other attendees included Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
Buttigieg has done well in polls, despite the crowded field of 2020 Democratic candidates. He has also outperformed some of his more famous opponents in terms of fundraising, although he isn’t opposed to private fundraising events and associated bundlers.
As The Inquisitr reported, Buttigieg’s rise has drawn comparisons to Barack Obama, and some of the former president’s influential donors are setting their sights on the promising presidential candidate. Although many of these backers were holding off to determine the strongest candidate, it appears some have already decided that the title belongs to Buttigieg.
Josh Atkinson, a Chicago business executive and one of Obama’s biggest fundraisers, is one such supporter. Atkinson has said that he supports the Indiana mayor due to Buttigieg’s connections to the Midwest — and Buttigieg’s potential to connect with Trump supporters.