Buttigieg Hits Warren Over Health Care Plan, But Continues to Face Polling Issues

Sunday show round-up

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This week on the Sunday news shows: South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg (D.) criticizes the "controversial" math in Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) Medicare for All plan, Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.) says Buttigieg's sexuality is an issue with older African-American voters, and Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Calif.) says articles of impeachment could expand beyond presidential abuse of power.

Buttigieg continues to attack Warren on health care: "The math is certainly controversial"

Elizabeth Warren's health care plan was received well by certain segments of the media, but the senator's fellow presidential candidates have been harsher. Buttigieg, who recently had to backpedal from a prediction that the primary race will end up between Warren and him, criticized Warren's proposed health care overhaul.

"The math is certainly controversial," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "Again, there are variations on the estimates in the trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars. And we don't have to go there in order to deliver health care to everybody."

Buttigieg and Warren have clashed repeatedly in recent weeks on the issue of health care. Buttigieg claimed Warren was "more specific and forthcoming about the number of selfies she's taken than about how this plan is going to be funded," while Warren dodged questions about how she would fund her proposed health care expansion.

Now, Warren has come out with a plan that has drawn criticism for its questionable assumptions about revenue sources.

Former vice president Joe Biden joined in on that criticism, blasting Warren for being dishonest about how she will pay for Medicare for All. With the next presidential debate later this month, health care is bound to be a continued source of conflict between the candidates.

Rep. Clyburn: Buttigieg's sexuality is an issue with older African-American voters

Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate to run a major campaign for the presidency. Rep. James Clyburn said that this fact is an issue with older African-American voters.

"There is no question about that. I'm not going to sit here and tell you otherwise. Because I think everybody knows that's an issue," Clyburn told CNN's Dana Bash.

"A local South Carolina paper obtained a memo from inside the campaign, the Buttigieg campaign, detailing a focus group with black voters, some of whom didn't like that he was living with his husband," Bash said. "The report concluded that, quote, ‘being gay was a barrier for these voters.' Is Mayor Buttigieg's struggle with black voters in your state of South Carolina because he's gay?"

Clyburn said that Buttigieg's sexuality is a generational issue.

Buttigieg is polling in the single digits in South Carolina, putting him in fifth place in the primary race in the state. Biden leads by double digits in recent polls, but his lead has slipped in the face of a surge from Warren.

Rep. Speier: Articles of impeachment could expand in scope

During an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation, Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Calif.) said articles of impeachment could expand to include obstruction of Congress as well as bribery.

Host Margaret Brennan asked Speier if the articles will eventually include issues beyond the alleged abuse of power stemming from President Donald Trump's phone conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

"It could include obstruction of Congress," Speier said. "I think that you can make a case for bribery now. And I think that discussion needs to be seriously developed and considered, because there was an effort to try to seek to get something of value from Mr. Zelensky, the president of Ukraine."

The impeachment timeline could see public hearings in the next couple of weeks, with a vote on articles of impeachment happening in the House before the end of the year. With the presidential primary kicking into high gear, this timeline would set the Senate trial for early 2020, which could pull campaigning senators off the trail and back to Capitol Hill.