Talking with John Heilemann on Showtime’s “The Circus,” Buttigieg made his claim that he believes it’ll come down to the two candidates.
“I think this is getting to be a two-way. It’s early to say,” Buttigieg said, adding, “I’m not saying that it is a two-way. […] A world where we’re getting somewhere is that world where it’s coming down to the two of us.”
See his comments below:
The 2020 hopeful later walked back his comments, as he told reporters late Saturday that he doesn’t “remember the exact context” and that he believes his comments didn’t “[come] out right.”
He added, “Look, the bottom line is this is a really strong competition among really strong campaigns.”
Buttigieg’s comments sparked criticism, as his 2020 contenders weren’t thrilled over it.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was among those who responded to Buttigieg, as she called it “naive.”
“I think that’s naive for him to think that at this point, that the fate of this election has been determined,” Harris told CBS News, adding, “Just look at history. He might need to review past elections to know what’s happening right now is not necessarily determinative of the outcome.”
Buttigieg told a New York Times report in response to Harris: “She’s right. Look, where we are now is three months ahead of the Iowa primary, and the, or the Iowa Caucuses, and the Iowa Caucuses are just the beginning.”
Check out Harris’ response:
#NEW: Sen. Kamala Harris responds to Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s claim this is a two-way race between him and Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “He might need to review past elections to know what’s happening right now is not necessarily determinative of the outcome.”pic.twitter.com/BZpH48RS7V— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) November 3, 2019
Additionally, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro blasted Buttigieg as he said on Saturday, “Anyone who thinks this is a two-person race doesn’t know anything about the Black and Latino communities.” Castro also suggested over the weekend that Buttigieg has a “bad track record with African Americans on the issues.”
Speaking with CNN, Buttigieg responded in calling Castro’s remarks “false.”
“Look, our city has had a lot of challenges, but the black voters that know me best have returned me to office and supported me more the second time than the first,” Buttigieg said, adding, “And I would be happy to walk him around South Bend and introduce him to folks if he’d like to learn how we’ve tackled these really tough issues.”
Asked about his remarks by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday and if it is a “two-way race,” Buttigieg responded, “Not yet.”
On Monday, Buttigieg answered to his remarks once again, as he told CNN that he’s “not going to comment on the other campaigns.”
According to an ABC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Sunday, Buttigieg currently sits in the fourth spot in the Democratic primary, followed by Harris. As for the fifth debate held on November 20 in Georgia, both Harris and Buttigieg are among the nine candidates that have qualified so far.