UPDATED with details of event: At a Hollywood fundraiser Tuesday night , Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg warned of the crowd to not get too caught up in what President Donald Trump says, by “not allowing him to dominate our conversation about the future.”
Buttigieg asked supporters gathered at the Avalon Nightclub to “help us make sure that we don’t go on his show and play his game, that we pick up the remote and change the channel.”
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Introduced by Mandy Moore, Buttigieg spoke for about 40 minutes, answering written questions from attendees that were selected from a fishbowl.
Asked why voters should select him, as opposed to others in the mammoth Democratic field, Buttigieg quipped that he offered the “only chance to vote for a Maltese american, Episcopalian, gay millennial mayor.” But he also said that he was a candidate from middle America who offered a voice that could cut through the noise of a presidential race.
Buttigieg has tried to stand out from the field in part by addressing values and faith, saying that his own religious experience emphasized service and the need to “seek out leaders with the hearts of servants.”
“Don’t let anyone tell you that Christian faith or any faith compels you to condone what is going on in the White House today,” he said. “It’s just not true.”
PREVIOUSLY, August 27, 3:13 PM: Pete Buttigieg is returning to Los Angeles today for another round of fundraising, including an event at Hollywood’s Avalon Nightclub that will feature Shepard Fairey as DJ.
Fairey was creator of the “Hope” poster for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, an image that became so iconic that the original went on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.
It’s unclear whether Fairey will produce artwork for Buttigieg’s campaign, but he told the website Yello in June that the South Bend, Indiana mayor was his favorite candidate “so far.”
The event is a “low-dollar” fundraiser, meaning tickets are priced starting at $25 to draw younger and less affluent donors. The list of co-hosts for the event include Conor and Kick Kennedy, son and daughter of Robert Kennedy Jr.; as well as Vicki Kennedy, the wife of Max Kennedy, Kennedy Jr.’s brother. Co-hosts also include Fairey, Haley Daniels, Cazzie David, John Gile and Jeff Valenson, Lucie Reiss, Yosi Sergant and Lauren Taschen, according to an invite.
Buttigieg also is headlining a fundraiser earlier in the evening at the home of attorney Steve Warren and Johnnie Ingram, with a list of co-hosts including HBO’s Casey Bloys and his husband, attorney Alonzo Wickers; public affairs strategist Greg Propper and his husband, publicist Michael Torbiak; and Jordan Fudge, founding partner of the venture capital firm Sinai Ventures. Tickets to the event start at $750, rising to the max of $2,800 per person.
The candidate also has another event on his schedule for Wednesday, a luncheon in West Hollywood with tickets starting at $250 each, and rising to a $2,800 per person max.
Buttigieg is a showbiz favorite. He led among all candidates in fundraising in the second quarter, even as latest polls show him in the single digits, while Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are in the top tier.
Still, Buttigieg is among the 10 candidates to have qualified so far for the third Democratic debate, set for September 12 on ABC. If more than 10 candidates qualify, the network will schedule another debate night, on September 13, with a random drawing to determine the matchups.
The remaining candidates have until the end of the day on Wednesday to meet the threshold for the debate’s stricter criteria. They have to show that they register at least 2% in four qualifying polls, and have collected donations from at least 130,000 people.