Rising Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg came under attack during a debate among U.S. presidential hopefuls on Thursday (December 19), as his rivals questioned his lack of Washington experience and criticized his fundraising from wealthy donors.
It was the sixth and last debate of the year for Democratic candidates seeking their party's nomination to challenge President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico.
The debate saw an intensifying feud between leading contenders Buttigieg and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren over transparency and fundraising burst to the surface.
Senator Elizabeth Warren pointed out Buttigieg's backing from big money fundraisers, sparking a fiery exchange.
"The mayor just recently had a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine.
Think about who comes to that," said Warren.
Warren also questioned whether Buttigieg was beholden to his wealthy donors: "I do not sell access to my time.
I don't spend time with millionaires and billionaires.
I don't meet behind closed doors." But Mayor Buttigieg pushed back and defended his campaign, saying "This is our only chance to defeat Donald Trump.
And we shouldn't try to do it with one hand tied behind our back." Warren and Bittigieg have butted heads already on the campaign trail, swiping it each other's achievements and experience on and off the stage.