South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, slammed Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “Medicare For All” plan on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
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“It’s just not true that her solution — this ‘my way or the highway’ idea — that you’re kicking everybody off their private plans,” he told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
(MORE: Biden, Warren, Sanders stay on top; health is now an issue for Sanders: POLL)
Warren released a plan on Friday that addressed funding for Medicare for All with a promise not to raise a single penny in middle class taxes. The plan consisted of two parts: an estimate of what single-payer, government-run health care would cost and how Warren would pay for it without raising “one penny” of taxes on middle-income Americans.
“Well the math is certainly controversial,” Buttigieg said on “This Week” Sunday. “Again there are variations in the estimates in the trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars, and we don’t have to go there in order to deliver health care to everybody.”
He said his plan would be paid for with a combination of turning back tax cuts from President Donald Trump and he said it avoids the math problem and the issue of kicking people off their plans.
But the race is not simply between Buttigieg and Warren. Still in a crowded field of over a dozen Democratic competitors, the Midwestern mayor “I’m proud to be part of the most diverse field I think ever in in Democratic presidential politics and some formidable competition.”
(MORE: Sanders calls his plan to fund Medicare for All ‘far more’ progressive than Warren’s)
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Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at the Liberty and Justice Celebration at the Wells Fargo Arena on November 01, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa.
On the bus in Dubuque, Iowa Buttigieg told Stephanopoulos that his surge in the polls is a result of voters getting to know him and his campaign.
“There’s an amazing energy behind our campaign right now we’re seeing it on the ground here in Iowa, we’re seeing it pick up in a lot of places, and I think voters are really narrowing down their choices and instead of just getting to know us now they’re really making up their minds and we’re getting tremendous response for my message of folds changes that we can also get together, my campaign is based on the idea.”
Buttigeg told reporters on Saturday that his message at the Liberty Justice dinner connected with people. Compared to the early days of his campaign, the Midwestern mayor said he senses a new energy.
Less than 100 days until the Iowa caucus, a new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds Buttigieg in fourth place, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
“I can sense that there’s just a different energy right now. I think early on Iowans were just getting to know us; now I think folks are making decisions,” Buttigieg said. “And I can tell that the image I’m asking people to think about, that question of the day after — and not just how do we end the Trump administration, but what comes next — was really resonating with people.”
(MORE: Roughly 100 days out from caucuses, Democratic presidential hopefuls flock to Iowa)
Buttigieg’s message to Iowans is registering. Once an unknown, long-shot candidate in the 2020 Democratic field, Buttigieg is now soaring in Iowa polls. A New York Times/Sienna College poll released this week shows him in third place with 18% support among caucus-goers, just 4% off Warren, the top choice.