Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg tore into Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders during Tuesday night’s debate, telling him that the real cost of his plans is four more years of Donald Trump and a Congress completely controlled by Republicans.
The former mayor said that while the Vermont senator still hasn’t told taxpayers how much his plans will cost in a monetary sense, the political cost of the Sanders agenda is clear.
“I’ll tell you exactly what it adds up to,” Buttigieg said. “It adds up to four more years of Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House and the inability to get the Senate into Democratic hands.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) February 26, 2020
Let’s do some math. Sen. Sanders at one point said it was going to be $40 trillion, then it was $30 trillion, then it was $17 trillion. It’s an incredible shrinking price tag. At some point, he said it was unknowable to even see what the price tag would be. Now there are new numbers. I’ll tell you exactly what it adds up to. It adds up to four more years of Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House and the inability to get the Senate into Democratic hands. The time has come for us to stop acting like the presidency is the only office that matters. Not only is this a way to get Donald Trump reelected, we got a House to worry about. We got a Senate to worry about. This is really important. If you want to keep the House in Democratic hands, you might want to check with the people who actually turned the House blue. Forty Democrats who are not running on your platform. They are running away from your platform as fast as they possibly can. I want to send those Democrats back to the United States House. Let’s listen to them when they say that they don’t want to be out there defending Sen. Sanders.
Moderate Democrats are concerned that Sanders will be a drag on the ticket
Bernie Sanders continues to struggle to articulate just how much his plans will cost if they happen to be enacted. Just over the weekend, in fact, he said he doesn’t know what the cost of his agenda will be.
While it’s unclear if he will ever be able to put a specific price tag on his proposals, what is clear is that moderate Democrats are – as Pete Buttigieg said on Tuesday night – scared that Sanders will be a drag on the Democratic ticket.
As ABC News noted, middle-of-the-road Democrats that were central to the 2018 blue wave are terrified that “if the self-described democratic socialist wins the party’s presidential nomination, it could jeopardize efforts to protect their House majority and take control of the Senate.”
If Sanders is the Democratic nominee, he will have to broaden his message or he’ll struggle to win over swing voters in key states.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.