Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg doesn’t anticipate that fellow candidate and 2016 alum Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont will garner the necessary coalition of Democratic voters to win in 2020, in an interview with The New York Times.
“People were refreshed by the novelty of that boldness” of Sanders’ far-left policies in 2016, Buttigieg said in the interview, published on Wednesday.
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor then cast doubt on the 77-year-old democratic socialist’s ability to win the 2020 general election.
“I have a hard time seeing the coalition ultimately coming together there,” Buttigieg told the Times.
Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir told the Times in response to the criticism that the senator’s “unifying progressive agenda” makes him “the best-positioned candidate to defeat Donald Trump in the general election.”
Buttigieg had made similar remarks at a backyard event in New Hampshire last Friday, describing how continued financial hardship pushed some voters in 2016 to “want to vote to blow up the system – which could lead you to somebody like Bernie.”
“A lot of neighborhoods and families are living like this recovery never even happened – they’re stuck,” Buttigieg said. “It just kind of turns you against the system in general and then you’re more likely to want to vote to blow up the system – which could lead you to somebody like Bernie and it could lead you to somebody like Trump. I think that’s how we got where we are.”
Buttigieg’s comments come as he cracks the top tier of Democratic candidates, jumping 14 points to join Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden in a new poll from New Hampshire on Monday.