LOS ANGELES — Pete Buttigieg came under fire from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders during Thursday night's Democratic presidential over a recent California fundraiser the South Bend, Indiana mayor held in Napa Valley.
On Sunday, Buttigieg traveled to Rutherford for the first of six fundraisers within a three-day stretch, where he met with Kathryn Hall, the former U.S. ambassador to to Austria who hosted the event, in what Warren described as a "wine cave full of crystals."
"The mayor just recently had a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine," Warren said. "Think about who comes to that. He had promised that every fundraiser he would do would be open door, but this one was closed door. We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke filled rooms would not pick the next president of the United States. Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States."
Buttigieg's campaign recently decided to open its fundraisers to members of the media, and Warren inaccurately said the fundraiser was closed.
While it wasn't open to the general public, a pool report from KSRO released shortly after the event described the roughly 150 to 200 supporters who enjoyed an "expansive view over the vineyards of Napa Valley" and a "meticulously decorated Christmas tree."
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The appearance in Napa reflects a pattern of Buttigieg hosting scores of fundraisers. Buttigieg has made 63 appearances in California — the most of any 2020 candidate, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis of 391 candidate visits. Two-thirds of his appearances, including one in West Sacramento, have been fundraisers.
Sanders blasted Buttigieg for receiving contributions from 39 billionaires, which falls short of Biden's 44 billionaires.
"There's a real competition going on up here. My good friend Joe, and he is a good friend, has received contributions from 44 billionaires," Sanders said. "Pete, on the other hand, is trailing. Pete, you only got 39 billionaires contributing. So, Pete, we look forward to you. I know you're an energetic guy and a competitive guy. (Let's) see if you can take on Joe on that issue."
Buttigieg chastised Warren for obtaining lots of wealth from her time as a Harvard professor. She and her husband have made $10 million in the past decade. Buttigieg also cited how Forbes' estimate of his net worth at $100,000, the least of any candidate.
"I am literally the only person on this stage who's not a millionaire or a billionaire," Buttigieg said. "This is the problem with issuing purity tests you yourself cannot pass."