Bernie Sanders Campaign Slams Pete Buttigieg: ‘Essentially The Same Old Product, Perhaps In New Packaging’

Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during the Nevada Democrats' "First in the West" event at Bellagio Resort & Casino on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
David Becker / Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg‘s rise in the polls brings him closer to frontrunners like Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Recently, there has been some back and forth between the campaigns of the South Bend, Indiana mayor and the Vermont Senator, and this pattern doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. CNN Washington Correspondent Ryan Nobles took to Twitter Tuesday to reveal an attack Sanders’ Senior Campaign Adviser Jeff Weaver made on Buttigieg, pushing back against the mayor’s recent attacks on free college tuition.

“Essentially the same old product, perhaps in new packaging. I think the voters are ready for a change,” Nobles reported Weaver as saying, echoing a past comment by former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel.

“The appeal of Buttigieg and other centrists: a slightly kinder face on the same policies that have been condoning Israeli aggression and apartheid for decades,” Gravel tweeted.

According to Nobles, Weaver said the Sanders campaign is “prepared to have the debate over the future of the Democratic party” and said that it would come down to progressives vs. corporatists.

Per Newsweek, Buttigieg recently ran a campaign ad that took aim at plans to make college tuition-free, which many took as a dig at the campaigns of Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, which both offer such proposals.

“I believe we should move to make college affordable for everybody,” Buttigieg said in the video. “There are some voices saying, ‘Well, that doesn’t count… unless it’s even free for the kids of millionaires.’ But I only want to make promises that we can keep.”

The comment was blasted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has endorsed Sanders’ campaign. According to Ocasio-Cortez, Buttigieg is using GOP talking points that are typically used to “dismantle public systems.” The New York City Representative said that it was “sad” to see a Democratic presidential candidate adopt such alleged Republican talking points.

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As The Inquisitr reported, Sanders’ speechwriter, David Sirota, recently contrasted Buttigieg’s comments on Sanders, appearing to suggest that they have shifted. Sirota pointed to a previous comment by Buttigieg that suggested the 78-year-old is as divisive as Trump, as well as the South Bend mayor’s award-winning essay in which he praised Sanders’ ability to unite people against moral compromise, opportunism, and partisanship.

Sirota also suggested that Buttigieg’s recent attack on free college may be connected to his Wall Street support, noting that Wall Street is not happy with Sanders’ plan to fund his free college proposal with a securities trading tax.