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Buttigieg, Fellow Dems Seek Distance from Warren’s Pledge ‘Never to Give Ambassadorial Positions to Wealthy Donors’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to the media in the “Spin Room” following the Democratic presidential debate in Houston, Texas, September 12, 2019. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Democratic primary opponents have proven hesitant to accept her challenge to “never to give ambassadorial positions to wealthy donors.”

“Anyone who gives a big donation, don’t ask to be an ambassador,” Warren said during Wednesday’s debate, after taking a swipe at Trump donor and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon. “I ask everyone running for president to join me in that,” Warren said Wednesday, before her campaign followed up with a tweet Thursday.

When reporters reached out other campaigns to see their interest in the proposal, most rebuffed the offer.

South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg did not rule donors out of consideration. “I’ll certainly commit that anybody I appoint to any position will be qualified and somebody who will do a good job serving the United States,” he said. “I certainly believe that any presidential appointment should be driven by the qualifications of the appointee.”

Andrew Yang echoed Buttigieg’s sentiment. “I certainly think there are other ways to select ambassadors than solely on how much money they got,” but refused to go as far as Warren in comments to HuffPost after the debate.

“I think that’s completely up to her,” Kamala Harris surrogate Stephanie Morales said after the debate. “That’s the beauty of having different candidates voice their different opinions. As much passion as Sen. Harris put into her comments about Black women, she didn’t turn around and say, ‘Elizabeth Warren, you need to pledge to do these things.’”

The only positive approval came from fellow progressive candidate Bernie Sanders, who tweeted Thursday that “it is an outrage that throughout the history of this country, presidential administrations have been filled with wealthy campaign contributors.”

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