Warren, Buttigieg Feud Puts Democratic Divide on Display

Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren has spent weeks absorbing attacks from moderate rivals looking to blunt her surging campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Now, as the Massachusetts senator risks losing momentum, she’s starting to hit back, The Associated Press informs.

After a Democratic Party fundraiser in Boston on Thursday night, Warren blasted Pete Buttigieg, who is emerging as a leading moderate candidate in the lead-off Iowa caucuses set for Feb. 3. She criticized the South Bend, Indiana, mayor for holding closed-door fundraisers with big donors.

“I think that Mayor Pete should open up the doors so that anyone can come in and report on what’s being said,” Warren said. “Those doors shouldn’t be closed, and no one should be left to wonder what kind of promises are being made to the people that then pony up big bucks to be in the room.”

Like Warren, Buttigieg has spent much of the past year presenting himself as someone uninterested in political squabbling. But that didn’t stop his senior adviser, Lis Smith, from chiding Warren for not being forthcoming about her past legal work representing corporate clients.

“If @ewarren wants to have a debate about transparency, she can start by opening up the doors to the decades of tax returns she’s hiding from her work as a corporate lawyer – often defending the types of corporate bad actors she now denounces,” Smith tweeted.

Warren responded by suggesting to reporters in New Hampshire on Friday that Buttigieg was trying to “deflect” the issue, adding, “But he’s going to be in New York next week, and he’s going to do three big fundraisers with rich people,” AP noted.

While testy exchanges are to be expected with voting now looming, this one reflects the deep divides over the Democratic Party’s philosophical direction. The progressive populism that helped fuel Warren’s rise over the summer has become something of a liability as moderates including Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden question the feasibility of her approach – and find voters are receptive to that skepticism.

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