Warren, Buttigieg Clash Over Transparency

December 6, 2019 Updated: December 6, 2019
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called out South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg for his alleged lack of transparency, prompting a fiery response from his campaign.

Warren told reporters on Dec. 5: “I think that Mayor Pete should open up the doors so that anyone can come in and report on what’s being said. These doors shouldn’t be closed and no one should be left to wonder what kind of promises are being made to the people who can pony up big bucks to be in the room.”

“That’s why I’ve done so from the time that I was still in the private sector,” Warren said. “I think that voters want to know about possible conflicts of interest.”

She said Buttigieg should disclose who is on his finance committee and the names of “the bundlers who are raising big money for him.”

Americans “have a right to have this information about anyone who asks for their vote for president,” she said.

Lis Smith, senior adviser for communications for Buttigieg’s campaign, pushed back, releasing a statement: “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.”

The situation evolved around Buttigieg’s prior work for McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm.

Smith said that Buttigieg is navigating a non-disclosure agreement.

“We are working on getting out more info. Meanwhile @ewarren said definitively any part of her pre-2008 Tex returns will remain a secret. That seems hypocritical and troubling,” she added.

Progressives have put pressure on Buttigieg over his work with McKinsey, claiming that the problem isn’t his work for the company but what he’s doing now.

“Working at McKinsey would be fine if he was now challenging corporate interests like big tech & big insurance companies. But the fact that he’s adopting policies that help them and using industry talking points to attack other Dems-that’s the issue,” Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

Warren, 70, and Buttigieg, 37, are two of the top four contenders in the Democratic presidential race. Buttigieg has seen increased support in polls recently, including taking a strong lead in Iowa, the first caucus state in the nation.

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