Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) slammed presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D., Ind.) for criticizing his fellow Democratic rivals in advance of Tuesday's debate.
In an interview with Snapchat's Peter Hamby, Buttigieg said that Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) promise to go without big-money fundraisers if nominated would not be enough to defeat President Donald Trump. Buttigieg also described Beto O'Rourke's gun-confiscation proposal as a way for the former Texas representative to "pick a fight to stay relevant." Rep. Ocasio-Cortez took issue with the South Bend mayor on Monday evening.
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"Small-dollar grassroots campaigns, aka what Buttegieg [sic] insults here as ‘pocket change,' out-fundraise him by millions," she wrote on Twitter. "Our nation’s leaders should be working to end the era of big money politics, not protect it. & Beto’s gun policy isn’t ‘picking a fight,' it’s taking a stand."
Small-dollar grassroots campaigns, aka what Buttegieg insults here as "pocket change," out-fundraise him by millions.
Our nation’s leaders should be working to end the era of big money politics, not protect it.
& Beto’s gun policy isn’t "picking a fight," it’s taking a stand. https://t.co/a6k7rgXHiD
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 14, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez's comments were only the latest contribution to an increasingly heated Democratic primary. Buttigieg and O'Rourke in particular have been at loggerheads in recent days, with the South Bend mayor criticizing the former congressman's gun-confiscation plan and pledge to punish churches for opposing same-sex marriage.
In return, O'Rourke pushed back against Buttigieg on gun control, saying that Buttigieg was "afraid of doing the right thing right now." O'Rourke added that he was "really offended" by Buttigieg's criticisms.
Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) also entered the fray, saying that Buttigieg was "doing the NRA's work for them" by referring to O'Rourke's mandatory gun buyback plan as gun "confiscation."
The three men are polling at a combined 10 percent in the 2020 primary, according to Morning Consult.
Buttigieg's attack on Warren echoed criticism from a former Obama administration official. Rufus Gifford—who served as ambassador to Denmark during Barack Obama's second term—said that Warren's decision to forgo big-donor money in the general election was a "colossally stupid decision" that would cost Democrats the White House.
Twelve Democratic candidates will take the stage for the fourth presidential debate on Tuesday night.