In an interview with CNN’s David Axelrod, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg defended his decision to attend big-money fundraisers, Mediaite reports.
The host pressed the candidate about the issue, while praising him for raising $25 million in a quarter.
“You’ve done 70 fundraisers in places like Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Wall Street. … Does it give you any concern?” he asked.
“We are trying to reach everybody at every level,” Buttigieg responded, proceeding to explain that he believes candidates simply need to accept money from places such as Wall Street and Silicon Valley if they want to run a successful campaign.
“Until we change our campaign finance system, we are going to continue to have this problem that the people we elect and expect to spend their time solving our policy problems are spending way too much time raising the dollars they need to in order to play the field.”
Buttigieg suggested that he would change the rules if given the chance.
“I can’t change them until we get the chance,” he said.
Prior to entering the race, the mayor of South Bend was a relatively unknown politician, but he has since managed to persuade enough primary voters to support him to make it to the debate stage.
His numbers have fluctuated, however. According to a Real Clear Politics average of polling data, Buttigieg is polling at around 5 percent nationally, behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren. And although the young Democrat has decided to attend big-money fundraisers, some candidates polling better than him have shunned them.
As The Inquisitr detailed in an earlier report, although virtually all Democratic presidential candidates have vowed to not take corporate money, all of them except Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have embraced Wall Street.
According to Salon, along with Buttigieg, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden have managed to attract attention from Wall Street. Executives are reportedly impressed by Buttigieg’s “charisma and intellect,” Biden’s “ideological moderation,” and believe Harris has decent chances of winning the primary.
Unlike Biden and others, Buttigieg has also managed to get Hollywood to support him. As Variety reported, the presidential candidate is attending lunches and fundraisers with stars such as Jason Bateman and Ellen DeGeneres.
As The New York Times reported, Buttigieg has also attended meetings with top Democratic Party officials making up the unofficial “Stop Sanders” coalition, meant to prevent the Vermont senator from winning the nomination. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and a number of other prominent Democratic politicians and think tank heads have attended the meetings as well.