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Things Get Testy Between Warren, Buttigieg

The Democratic candidates reflect a philosophical rift in the party
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 7, 2019 11:00 AM CST
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during a commercial break in a Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov....   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(Newser) – Elizabeth Warren has spent weeks absorbing attacks from moderate rivals looking to blunt her surging campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Now, as the Massachusetts senator risks losing momentum, she's starting to hit back, the AP reports. After a Democratic Party fundraiser in Boston on Thursday night, Warren blasted Pete Buttigieg, who is emerging as a leading moderate candidate in the lead-off Iowa caucuses set for Feb. 3. She criticized the South Bend, Indiana, mayor for holding closed-door fundraisers with big donors. "I think that Mayor Pete should open up the doors so that anyone can come in and report on what's being said," Warren said. She suggested he might be making backroom promises to people who "pony up big bucks."

Like Warren, Buttigieg has spent much of the past year presenting himself as someone uninterested in political squabbling. But that didn't stop his senior adviser, Lis Smith, from chiding Warren over past legal work representing corporate clients. "If @ewarren wants to have a debate about transparency, she can start by opening up the doors to the decades of tax returns she’s hiding from her work as a corporate lawyer—often defending the types of corporate bad actors she now denounces," Smith tweeted. Warren responded by saying Buttigieg was trying to "deflect" the issue. While such testy exchanges are normal during a political campaign, this one reflects the deep divide between progressive populists and moderates in the Democratic Party.

(Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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