During last night's Democratic presidential debate, candidates exchanged blows, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren leading attacks on billionaire Michael Bloomberg for funding his campaign using his considerable wealth without releasing his tax returns. Bloomberg responded at one point by mentioning that Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist, has three homes.
The debate's moderators pointed out that Bloomberg had previously donated large amounts of money to Democratic causes. They asked why, then, his money is a problem at this point in the race.
38-year-old presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg responded:
"Oh, I think he should absolutely by doing everything in his power to defeat Donald Trump, I just don't think that has to result in him becoming the President of The United States. Look, our party has values. We were built around values like making sure we protect working people, but Mayor Bloomberg opposed raising the minimum wage. Our party has a tradition that includes excellent presidents like Barack Obama, who Mayor Bloomberg opposed."
"At the end of the day, it's not just about how much money you've got; it's what you stand for. And we are living in a moment when Americans are so deeply frustrated with the way that both Wall Street and Washington seem to have overlooked our lives. The view from the porch of my one house in Indiana is that they can't even see us sometimes. And if we're going into the election of our lives against a president who rose to power by cynically exploiting the frustration of ordinary Americans feeling like leaders weren't speaking to them, then I think that turning to someone like Mayor Bloomberg who thinks he can buy this election is no better a way to succeed than turning to someone like Senator Sanders who wants to burn the house down."
Indeed, over the course of his campaign, Buttigieg has gone from being the little-known mayor of Indiana 's fourth largest city, South Bend, to a household name — regardless of whether you can pronounce it.
In his time on the campaign trail Buttigieg (pronounced "boot-edge-edge") — or as his constituents call him, "Mayor Pete" — has emphasized his Midwestern roots.
"Everybody's talking about the middle of the country like it's some mysterious place and I think it might make sense to have somebody in the mix who actually lives here," Buttigieg told CNBC Make It in a previous interview. "I actually live in a middle-class lifestyle, in a middle-class neighborhood, in the American Midwest."
One aspect of that Midwestern lifestyle? Affordable housing. "[His] home is one of the nicest in the city and serves as a reminder of South Bend's distance from the coasts: The mortgage payment, according to Buttigieg, is about $450 a month," writes Nathan Heller in Vogue.
Data from the American Housing Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the median monthly mortgage payment for U.S. homeowners is $900. Overall, monthly housing costs come out to about $1,036 on average for Americans.
According to Data USA, the median property value of a home in South Bend was $81,100 in 2017, while the national average was closer to $217,600. According to Bankrate's mortgage calculator, the monthly payment on a $81,000, 15-year mortgage at 4.5% comes out to about $619.64.
Buttigieg's salary as Mayor of South Bend was $112,314.40 in 2018. His husband Chasten previously worked as a teacher at South Bend Montessori but has since taken a leave of absence so the pair can campaign together.
"The story of a place like South Bend — you know, exactly the kind of so-called 'Rustbelt City' that was being given up on — our story actually shows that there's a different way," he told CNBC Make It earlier this year, "that you can focus on the future, make your peace with the fact that there's no going back and come out ahead for it."
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