Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg told a voter in Las Vegas on Tuesday, "I share that concern," when the voter expressed worry that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., seen as the current frontrunner, would lose to Republican incumbent Donald Trump in the general election.
Michael Nash, a 65-year-old who said he left the Republican Party when Trump won, told Buttigieg "if the socialist Bernie Sanders wins the nomination, Trump will beat him," CNN reported.
"Look, Sen. Sanders," Buttigieg replied, "speaks to a lot of ideals that we all share. But right now, we've got to make sure we're drawing as many people as we can into our coalition.
"And if the message goes out that your only choices are you've either got to be for a revolution, or you must be for the status quo, I don't think most of us see ourselves in that picture."
A recent Gallup survey showed a majority of Americans say they will not vote for a socialist. Sanders is a self-described "democratic socialist."
Most voters are "looking for something else," Buttigieg said, "and a politics that says if you don't agree with me 100% of the time you don't even belong."
The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also had harsh words for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has yet to participate in a primary or caucus — or debate. He has so far focused his campaign on multi-million dollar ad buys and a social media campaign.
"If we get to a place where," Buttigieg said, "we're asking people to choose between revolution and a billionaire who thinks that you . . . can just buy your way on to television and win that way, just don't think that's speaking to where most of us are right now.
"And this is an opportunity to build a different kind of politics, it's about belonging. It's about adding to our coalition, it's not defined by who we can drive away."
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