Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg traded barbs over their respective resumes , with the Minnesota senator suggesting that the South Bend mayor lacks the experience needed to lead the country.
The exchange happened after Buttigieg suggested making Election Day a holiday and implementing same-day voter registration to boost turnout in elections. Klobuchar then said that while her Democratic opponent "said the right words," he lacks the experience to carry out those reforms.
"I actually have the experience," Klobuchar said, says that she has spearheaded 11 bills focused on voting rights during her time in the U.S. Senate.
Klobuchar acknowledged the "good work" Buttigieg has done "as a local official," but said she believes "experience should matter."
Buttigieg fired back by questioning how effective lawmakers in Washington have been and instead said his resume includes his military service and what he described as rallying people to come together.
"Washington experience is not the only experience that matters," he said. "There's more than 100 years of Washington experience on this stage, and where are we right now as a country?"
Buttigieg, 37, would be the youngest person ever elected president and has been the Mayor of South Bend since 2012. Klobuchar, 59, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012 and again in 2018.
Klobuchar and Buttigieg were among the 10 candidates to take the stage in Atlanta on Wednesday for the fifth debate, hosted by MSNBC and the Washington Post. The two candidates have sought to position themselves as more pragmatic alternatives to Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.