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North Texas Supporters Of Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg React To 'Wine Cave' Argument At Debate

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Controversy sparked at Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles involving candidates Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg arguing about big-dollar fundraisers, including one Buttigieg held at a wine cave.

The Democratic activists in North Texas CBS 11 spoke with on Friday defended the candidates.

And it turns out, the wine cave being discussed has a North Texas connection.

"The mayor just recently had a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave filled with crystals and serving $900 bottled wine," Sen. Warren said during the debate. "Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next President of the United States."

Buttigieg countered, "According to Forbes Magazine, I'm literally the only person who's not a millionaire or billionaire, so this is important. This is the problem with issuing purity tests, you cannot yourself pass."

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) listens
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) listens during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University on December 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Seven candidates out of the crowded field qualified for the 6th and last Democratic presidential primary debate of 2019 hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The wine cave where Mayor Buttigieg held a recent fundraiser is at Hall Wineries in California, which is owned by developer Craig Hall of Dallas.

It features a chandelier with 1,500 Swarovski crystals.

Rhonda Chandler owns LaCave Warehouse in Dallas, a retail wine shop and wine storage facility.

She says the wine caves are upscale tasting rooms, and can be found in Napa.

"Comparable to what you'd find in a four or five star hotel," said Chandler. "They'll have extremely gorgeous laid out tables, they'll have chandeliers. It's a party space that you can rent."

Jody Bland, who supports Senator Elizabeth Warren, says he doesn't think she was wrong to criticize Buttigieg because progressives have long advocated to take money out of politics.

Mayor Buttigieg referenced to this as a purity test and I disagree. I don't think how you spend your time and energy as a candidate has anything to do with a purity test," said Bland.

Shannon Bailey, a Buttigieg supporter, though says Warren shouldn't demonize other candidates for trying to run a viable campaign.

"I've met Mayor Buttigieg and I wasn't surrounded by millionaires. It was regular people... They've got to raise the big money and I don't think that's a criticism because each of the candidates do that," said Bailey.

Warren's attack against Buttigieg comes as he has surpassed her in the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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