The Note: Mayor Pete draws fresh heat from his left

If Mayor Pete Buttigieg was looking for a fight, he’s found it.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

If South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was looking for a fight, he's found it.

And if progressives have been wondering what to make of the millennial Midwesterner, they're likely to get some answers, too.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted Buttigieg for pushing a "GOP talking point" in saying free public college shouldn't be available to wealthy families. A move to the center by the youngest presidential candidate was called out by the youngest congresswoman -- who happens to also be one of the most influential.

Ocasio-Cortez, who is backing Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, knows what she's doing in raising alarms about the progressive credentials of Buttigieg. His rise in Iowa is a threat to the left every bit as much as it's a concern for former Vice President Joe Biden's candidacy.

Buttigieg advisers insist that a fight with AOC worries the Twitterverse more than it does caucus-goers. They're touting extra visibility for the TV ad that got Ocasio-Cortez to engage, where Buttigieg asserts, "I only want to make promises that we can keep."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is picking up on the thread in calling out Buttigieg for opposing a wealth tax. And Biden seems happy to see the attention on someone other than himself.

"Everybody sort of has their turn in the barrel," he said as his bus tour got underway Saturday in Iowa.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

There was some notable bipartisan agreement on one aspect of the House impeachment process over the weekend. Two members of the House Judiciary Committee, Reps. Val Demings, D-Fla., and Tom McClintock, R-Calif., agreed that they thought having President Donald Trump or his lawyers participate in Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, as the rules permit, would be in the president's best interests.

Nonetheless, White House counsel informed the committee Sunday that they would not part take in the process.

"An invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the president with any semblance of a fair process," counsel wrote in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

The president will be at a NATO meeting Wednesday during the Judiciary Committee hearing.

The next hearing will examine the constitutional standards and precedent for impeachment, but the committee has not yet decided if it will have additional hearings or call fact witnesses.

Monday, House members will also be able to review a draft report from the Intelligence Committee on its findings and conclusions in the impeachment inquiry.

All told, it is set to be another busy week for Congress.

The TIP with Molly Nagle

Five stops down, 13 to go.

Former Vice President Joe Biden's barnstorming tour across Iowa on his "No Malarkey" bus is entering day 3, with Biden honing his message on rural America, and looking to gain ground in the state.

"I'm running to win, I'm not running to lose. I'm not running to come in third or fourth and fifth or anything like that, so I feel good about it," Biden told reporters Sunday morning.

Biden's team is betting that Iowa voters are still deciding which candidate to commit to caucus for, and are hoping Biden's personal touch on the trail can win them over.

Biden's tour has included some unannounced stops, allowing Biden to greet diner patrons, pick up some cough drops and grab a bite with former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and wife Christie Vilsack, who joined Biden on the bus after recently endorsing the former vice president.

And while Biden still has five days in the state to win over support, he'll make a brief detour when he heads to Chicago for a fundraiser Monday night.


The Democratic field was winnowed down again with two candidates falling by the wayside late Sunday and Monday. Joe Sestak, the former congressman from Pennsylvania, dropped out after drawing very limited attention. And then on Monday morning, the current governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, announced he was suspending his campaign. The governor made the first debate stage, but found little in the way of a following despite his pitch as a red-state Democrat who offered a more moderate alternative to several progressive candidates.


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Monday morning's episode features ABC News Senior Foreign correspondent Ian Pannell, who explains why the weekend terror attack in London could have wide-ranging political ramifications. Then, ABC News' Katherine Faulders tells us what to look for as the House Intelligence committee report on Ukraine is released.


  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appears on ABC's "The View" at 11 a.m.
  • President Donald Trump travels from Washington to London for the NATO summit.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a lecture at the University of Louisville and then travels from Louisville, Kentucky, to London, to join Trump for the NATO summit.
  • The Supreme Court hears arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, a closely watched case for Second Amendment rights.
  • Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., has a meet-and-greet event at Black Pearl Cafe in Muscatine, Iowa, at 9 a.m. (CST), a meet-and-greet at Jenny's Diner in Clinton at noon, and then, another meet-and-greet event at Ross' Restuarant in Bettendorf at 5:30 pm.
  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has a "Man-to-Man Conversation" event focused on issues impacting black men at Booker South Carolina Headquarters in Columbia at 9:30 a.m., followed by a filing event at 11 a.m.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Iowa on the third day of his eight-day, 18 county "No Malarkey" bus tour. He has an event at The Shores at Five Island in Emmetsburg at 10 a.m. (CST) and then an event at Water's Edge Nature Center in Algona at 1 p.m.
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg visits Bowman Family Vineyards in Round O, South Carolina, at 11 a.m. He then has a meet-and-greet event with the Allendale Democratic Party chair at the Allendale County Democratic Party Headquarters at 2:30 p.m. Later, he visits the Orangeburg massacre site and tours South Carolina State University at 4 p.m.
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro visits a political science class at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California, at 3:15 p.m. (PST).
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has a town hall at the University of Iowa in Iowa City at 3:45 p.m. (CST).
  • Andrew Yang has a town hall at Branch and Blade Brewing in Keene, New Hampshire, at 4:30 p.m. He then has a town hall at Richard W. Black Community Center in Hanover at 7 p.m.
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, attends a house party at the home of Brian Cullen and June Schmunk in Amherst, New Hampshire, at 6 p.m.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

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