Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was interrupted at a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Friday by climate activists angered by the former South Bend, Indiana mayor's lackluster approach to the climate crisis and his campaign's continued reliance on fossil fuel money.
"I can't make out your song, but we definitely want the same things," Buttigieg told the group of climate action advocates who broke out in song and held up signs reading "Pete Takes Money From Fossil Fuel Billionaires" during the candidate's remarks at the event in Concord.
Buttigieg countered the protest and criticism by tell the crowd there was some "inaccurate information going up here" and noting that he "took the fossil fuel pledge" and is "determined to bring about solutions on climate change."
While Buttigieg has, in fact, signed the "No Fossil Fuel Money" pledge, critics of the candidate point out that his continued openness to PACs and high-dollar bundlers means it's impossible to know exactly which individuals and what kind of corporate interests are backing and funding his campaign.
Climate activists crashed this Buttigieg event with signs that referenced his reported fossil fuel hypocrisy pic.twitter.com/f3GhiRSEqT
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 17, 2020
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It has been widely noted that billionaire Craig Hall, host of the infamous "wine cave" fundraiser for Buttigieg late in 2019, amassed much of his fortune with investments in the fossil fuel sector. Mayor Pete's campaign, as HuffPost reports, has argued that someone like Hall doesn't count against the pledge "because he is a real estate executive who invested in fossil fuels, not the other way around."
— 350 New Hampshire (@350NH) January 17, 2020
Griffin Sinclair Wingate, a spokesperson for New Hampshire Youth Movement, one of the groups behind the protest, told Fox News: "We are really concerned about candidates who have taken money from fossil-fuel executives. So that includes Joe Biden as well as Pete Buttigieg."
Buttigieg, said Wingate, "hosted a fundraiser in a wine cellar or wine cave with Craig Hall, who runs a firm that funds fossil fuel infrastructure projects. As a young person who's really concerned about climate change and knows that our lives are threatened by the climate crisis, we cannot have a president who is taking money from fossil-fuel executives."
Kevin Donohoe, the campaign's New Hampshire communications director, pushed back on the accusations. "We do not accept contributions from registered federal lobbyists, corporate PACs or the fossil fuel industry," Donohoe said, "and the only promise any donor will ever get from Pete is that he will use their donations to defeat Donald Trump."