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Bernie Sanders Campaign Claps Back at Mayor Pete for Comparing Trump and Sanders Voters

Campaign officials and surrogates for Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders struck back after fellow candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg took what many perceived as a shot at Sanders by comparing his supporters with Donald Trump voters.

At an event on Friday, Buttigieg told a group of high school students that economic anxiety “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. That’s how we got where we are.”

After Buttigieg’s comment was widely circulated on Sunday, several Sanders campaign officials pushed back. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a Sanders campaign adviser, called Mayor Pete “intellectually dishonest” for making the comparison:

Sanders national co-chair Nina Turner also pushed back by pointing out that Sanders supporters “are Democratic & Independent voters, many of whom are people of color.”

Sanders campaign senior adviser David Sirota retweeted both Turner and Khanna. And Turner also retweeted a response from Sanders supporter and Our Revolution board member James Zogby, who called the comparison “just plain dumb”:

As CNN’s John King noted in presenting Buttigieg’s remark, the 2020 Democratic race has been a relatively “polite” one thus far, but Sanders was also attacked a few weeks ago by fellow candidate Julian Castro on the issue of reparations.

Both Sanders and Buttigieg are appearing at CNN town hall events Monday night, which will be an interesting test of how serious this rift is.

Watch Mayor Pete’s remarks above, via CNN.

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