In an interview with CNN‘s David Axelrod, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg described popular progressive proposals such as Medicare for All and tuition-free college as “pretty far out from where Americans are.”
Buttigieg dismissed the proposals as unrealistic.
“I do think that we should be realistic about what’s going to work. And just flipping a switch and saying we’re instantly going to have everybody on Medicare just like that — isn’t realistic,” he said.
The South Bend mayor said that Democrats are being “pushed” toward progressive policies.
Buttigieg suggested that having tuition-free colleges would mean paying down “the last penny of tuition for any student including the child of a billionaire.”
According to Inc., there are 607 billionaires in the United States.
Around 44.7 million Americans have student loan debt, according to NBC News.
“These are things that are questionable on their merits and of course also pretty far out… from where Americans are,” Buttigieg said of Medicare for All and tuition-free college.
That is not what the polls say, however.
Seventy percent of Americans support Medicare for All, according to a poll conducted by The Hill and the HarrisX polling company.
A Reuters-Ipsos poll released in August of 2018 also found that 70 percent of Americans support the proposal.
According to a CNBC poll, 57 percent of Americans — 80 percent of Democrats and 28 percent of Republicans — support tuition-free college.
As CNN notes, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appears to be the thought leader of the crowded Democratic field, with debates centering around proposals he has championed, and with other candidates adopting some of his signature policies. In addition to Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Bill de Blasio, and Kamala Harris have signaled support for a single-payer health care system.
As Forbes reported, Warren recently released her plan to cancel student loan debt.
Despite entering the primary race with almost no name recognition, Buttigieg has performed well in the polls. According to a Real Clear Politics average of polling data, the South Bend mayor is polling at around 5 percent.
These are the top five 2020 Dems, according to our latest poll of likely primary voters.
Elizabeth Warren is the only one in tonight's debate, and the others — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris — will duke it out tomorrow https://t.co/DSNMqeSUPF pic.twitter.com/iP7Xe5nBU3
— POLITICO (@politico) June 27, 2019
Buttigieg has also attracted the attention of donors. As The Inquisitr reported, he has managed to raise $25 million in a quarter, garnering support from Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley.
He has also attended a number of big-money fundraisers, reportedly impressing Wall Street executives with “charisma and intellect.”
— Vox (@voxdotcom) July 13, 2019
Buttigieg has also attended meetings of the unofficial “Stop Sanders” movement, which consists of Democratic politicians like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, and DNC insiders agitated by the Vermont Senator’s popularity, according to The New York Times.