The financial sector, blamed by progressives for spawning the 2008 economic collapse, is lining up behind Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has collected more campaign cash from donors and political action committees tied to the financial, insurance, and real estate sector than any other White House hopeful, says the Center for Responsive Politics. The $3.06 million in contributions compares to $2.8 million directed toward former Vice President Joe Biden and $2.03 million for Sen. Cory Booker, the AP reports. While Buttigieg is hardly alone in turning to the finance industry for support, the data could leave him exposed to further attacks from his progressive rivals, especially Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The Massachusetts Democrat's criticism of big banks during the economic collapse helped propel her political career and she repeatedly hit Buttigieg during Thursday's presidential debate for his ties to large donors. Buttigieg is making moves that suggest he's aware of the potential vulnerabilities. His campaign said Friday it has returned a $5,000 donation from one of Wall Street's most prominent lawyers, H. Rodgin Cohen. Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said the donations will give Buttigieg's opponents the opportunity to argue "he's in the pocket of big business." Buttigieg's team argues his campaign has broad support, noting his average donation was $32 for the third quarter if 2019 and that 98% of the donations are under $200.
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