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Buttigieg pushes back on claims of stalling campaign: We've 'exceeded every expectation'

The Hill logo The Hill 8/25/2019 Rebecca Klar
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VIdeo by NBC News

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg pushed back on questions over whether his campaign is stalling, saying he intends to win during this primary cycle and is not thinking about positioning himself for the next election.

NBC's Chuck Todd asked the South Bend, Ind., mayor on "Meet the Press" Sunday how he responds to supporters asking "okay, when are you going to take off like a rocket ship again."

"A lot of people are starting to ask, is this a campaign to prepare to run for president another time," Todd asked.

"It is not, I am in it to win," Buttigeig responded.

"[My campaign] exceeded every expectation since we started with four people in a room in South Bend and a campaign list smaller than most congressional campaigns."

Now is the point in the campaign "where you see how much this is a distance run," Buttigieg said.

"So much is decided in the last few days," he said, adding that the next "unglamorous" six months or so is his focus.

Peter Buttigieg wearing a suit and tie: Buttigieg pushes back on claims of stalling campaign: We've 'exceeded every expectation' © Getty Images Buttigieg pushes back on claims of stalling campaign: We've 'exceeded every expectation'

Buttigieg entered the campaign as a relatively unknown mayor of a small town and has risen to the top five candidates in a crowded field.

A RealClearPolitics average of polling has Buttigieg at 5 percent, behind the top-tier candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

As the field narrows, with three candidates dropping out this month, Buttigieg has stayed relatively stagnant in his position behind the four top candidates.

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