Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday night echoed the fears some Democrats have about nominating Bernie Sanders, using a back-and-forth with the Vermont senator to warn that a candidate at the top of the ticket who self-identifies as a “democratic socialist” could hurt down ballot races for the House and Senate.
Buttigieg said nominating Sanders would lead to “four more years of Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, and the inability to get the Senate in Democratic hands.”
“The time has come to stop acting like the presidency is the only office that matters. Not only is this a way to get Donald Trump re-elected. We have a House to worry about. We have a Senate to worry about. And this is really important,” Buttigieg continued.
More moderate Democrats – including those who won their seats in 2018 – have publicly expressed concerns about what Sanders atop the ticket would mean for down ballot races.
Buttigieg, as he has focused most of his attacks on Sanders, has stoked these fears, highlighting what he believes is the need to defend these House seats and broaden the Democratic base.
“If you want to keep the house in Democratic hands, you might want to check with the people who actually turned the house blue,” Buttigieg said. “Forty Democrats who are not running on your platform. They are running away from your platform as fast as they possibly can. I want to send those Democrats back to the United States House.”
After the Nevada caucuses, Pete Buttigieg went after Bernie Sanders: