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Jake Tapper Presses Mayor Pete About Massive Fundraising Haul: Are You the ‘Candidate of the Elite?’

CNN’s Jake Tapper put the question directly to South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg, following news of his massive second quarter $24.8 million fundraising haul:

“If you have raised so much money but your support is still relatively shallow — you’re still in the top five, but relatively shallow — does that mean that you are the candidate of the elite?” Tapper asked the mayor Wednesday on The Lead. “Are you getting a lot of money from rich people, but not broadening your appeal?”

Tapper cited polls which have had Buttigieg consistently checking in at or around the five percent to make his point that the mayor has been unable to grow his base. Buttigieg argued that he’s not a candidate for the one percent — that his difficulty climbing towards double digits in the polls is based on a low Q score relative to his rivals.

“One of the things we’re proud of is not just the fact that we’ve been able to gather resources and at least so far leading the field in that this quarter, but that we’ve done it at every level. And the grassroots fundraising is a big part of that,” Buttigieg said. “Now what we know is for all of the success we’ve had early on, there are still great many Americans who haven’t heard of us or don’t know much about me and my campaign. So it tells you we have a lot of upside but we have to go introduce ourselves. And the great news about this fundraising total is that it means we’re going to have the resources to do it.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo