Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez Slam Buttigieg’s Billionaire Support: ‘We Don’t Go to Rich People’s Wine Caves’

US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, December 21, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and supporter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) slammed Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) for his willingness to accept contributions from wealthy donors during a rally in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday.

The two followed in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) footsteps, hitting the South Bend, Indiana, mayor over his swanky fundraisers during their rally in Los Angeles over the weekend.

“Our campaign has received more contributions from more people than any candidate in the history of the United States of America,” Sanders, whose campaign took in over $1 million in donations on Thursday, told the crowd.

“We don’t have a super PAC,” he continued. “We don’t want a super PAC.”

“We don’t go to rich people’s wine caves,” he added as a direct reference to the critique Warren launched during Thursday’s debate. “This is a campaign of the working class of this country, by the working class, and for the working class.”

Ocasio-Cortez also hit Buttigieg — specifically, his reference to “issuing purity tests.”

“For anyone who accuses us for instituting purity tests — it’s called having values,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.

“It’s called giving a damn. It’s called having standards for your conduct to not be funded by billionaires but to be funded by the people,” she continued.

“I can tell you as a member of Congress when people say that there is no difference between being funded by a handful of wealthy people and being funded by small grassroots donations,” she added.

Their critiques follow the contentious back and forth between Warren and Buttigieg during Thursday’s Democrat debate.

“So 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,” Warren stated.

“Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” she added.

Buttigieg attempted to defend himself by pointing to Warren’s status as a millionaire and her history of accepting political donations from the ultra-wealthy, but his retort failed to garner a positive response across the board.

“This is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass,” the South Bend mayor said.

He continued:

But also, Senator, your presidential campaign right now as we speak is funded in part by money you transferred, having raised it at those exact same big-ticket fundraisers you now denounce. Did it corrupt you, Senator? Of course not.

“We need the support from everybody who is committed to helping us defeat Donald Trump,” he added:
PBS NewsHour/POLITICO

Warren has faced scrutiny over her critiques, as she held a fundraiser at the City Winery Boston in 2018, which included perks such as a souvenir wine bottle and “VIP experiences” for big donors.

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