However, his message this weekend told an obviously different story.
Butigigig spent much of his time in a three-day 330-mile bus trip through northern Iowa, preaching the need for unity, drawing a less subtle contrast to Warren's focus on battle. This is a new strategy that illustrates the belief in the Buttigieg campaign that Warren – whose growing and powerful campaign in the state is viewed by Iowa operatives as defeating former Vice President Joe Biden or Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – is the biggest obstacle in South Bend , Indiana, the mayor is facing the final in Iowa.
Butigig, in talks with reporters and voters, argues that Warren's message is divisive, questions the impact it calls for "cleanliness" as it would on the White House and Congress race and declared it "my path or approach to the highway. " He denied neglecting Biden and Sanders ̵
Warren, who also spent the weekend in Iowa, was not the mother of this new dynamic. She added new lines in her speech, accusing other nameless Democrats of "running a vague campaign that curses at the edges" and trying to "feel very sophisticated, very smart" by giving up "big ideas."
This clash has been building for weeks – and played on national television during the October Democratic debate – but this past weekend in Hokie County may provide an overview of how the last three months of the Iowa campaign will play out.
"Fighting is not enough," Butigig said as his bus moved between Waverley and Charles City. "And if we're so engrossed in battles that the goal is as if the battle was the goal, that's where I think we really get into trouble. If you win the battle, then what?"
This – and a series of other lines Buttigieg works in his speeches over the weekend – directly contrasts with Warren.
When asked about Buttigieg's strategy, Warren's campaign had itself.
"From the beginning, we were focused solely on detecting corruption, presenting our plans to repair it and building a mass movement in Iowa and across the country to implement it. We have a positive campaign committed to listening and organizing – regardless of the reasonable conversations or storytelling, "Jason Noble, Warren An Iowa spokesman told CNN.
The senator used his speech before Iowa's most pious Democratic activists on Friday to hold a party over what it believed to be imperative battles.
"Look, anyone who goes out at this stage and doesn't do it" I don't understand that we're already in a fight is not the person who will win this fight, "Warren said." Everyone who goes up at this stage and he tells you that he can make a change without a fight, he won't win that fight. "
This, according to Butigi, is not accurate – and the mayor spent three days in Iowa pressing thinly against Warren.
left the country, the mayor's campaign unveiled on Tuesday a new state advertisement with the same message containing his speech Friday night: "We will fight when we need to but to fight, but I will never let us get so wrapped up in battles that we begin to think that battle is the point. "
A series of veiled photos
" The proverb of my candidacy " said to voters on Saturday at Decor, "he is a candidate who is capable of being" brave enough to solve the problems before us and able to unite the American people. "
The following afternoon, during an event in Waverley, Butigig stated that the country needed a president who knew how to "solve these big problems with big answers and do it in a way that unites rather than polarizes the American
And during a mayoralty in Charles City later on Sunday, Butigigig declared the "political war we are used to leaving Washington" and promised as president to deal with. issues that are important to Democrats while bringing people together.
The journey of moments felt like a long veiled shot at Warren.
Between the mayoralties and rallies Butigigig raised endless questions from about a dozen reporters tucked into a blue and yellow bus while the mayor sipped black coffee or a pigeon in a sandwich sitting in a black captain's chair.
"Definitely not unifying," Butigigig says of Warren's message.
Regarding Medicare for All, a liberal, one-pay-for-care healthcare proposal backed by Warren, Butigig said that "one of the dangers of these purity tests is that they can make things more difficult for people themselves. we will need "
" Most Democrats do not want to be thrown out of their personal agenda. And as a matter of politics, I don't think most people make the mistake of feeling that way, "Buttigig said, adding that it's "going to be a problem if we tell them they're wrong and that's my way and the highway."
Buttigieg suggested a healthy a "Medicare for All Who Want" plan, a more moderate proposal that would offer a public option for Americans to get involved but keep private insurance available to those who wish.
While both candidates are ascending in Iowa, they have taken a different path so far.
Warren entered the race with a highly publicized team that has grown to a point that puts her in the eyes of many Democrats here, as a man of victory in the February caucuses. Buttigieg came in as a largely unknown candidate with virtually no staff in Iowa, but has since picked up speed, raised millions of dollars, and launched an operation in Iowa that boasts more than 100 employees and 20 statewide offices.
A recent new York Times / Siena poll is an example of this condition.
Warren found itself at 22%, Berne Sanders north at Vermont 19% and Butigig 18%. This is one of his best appearances so far in an Iowa poll. Former Vice President Joe Biden came in at 17% in the same poll.
Voters considering both Democrats
What was clear during the mayor's trip through the state was that voters were actively considering discussing both Warren and Butigig, despite their differences.
Sarah Zbornik stood at Butigigig meeting in Decor with his sister Sue Zbornik and their daughter-in-law Carol Zbornik.
All three women decide between Butigig and Warren.
"Honestly, who will be able to defeat Trump. I will decide on Kakus night," said Sarah, who was concerned about Butigigig's experience and believes Warren could be better prepared on day one.
Sue had a different reaction to the mayoralty.
"I like her very much," she said, "but definitely after tonight I lean more towards Pete."
This was a common refrain throughout the trip. Some Buttigieg supporters in Iowa said they were drawn to the mayor because of his focus on unity.
"He understands that the country is falling apart and that number one priority should be a way to find a way to unite," he said. Jeff Wilkerson, a teacher at Luther College. "And I feel it's not Warren's message. Her message is to correct some of these other problems, no matter what it takes to fix those other problems, but I think he's right, you can't fix those problems , without correcting that we
However, the race remains extremely smooth, the fact that campaigns throughout Iowa know as they prepare for the last three months.
Christine Peterson, an English teacher at Mason City, said before Democratic the debate in october peterson believed she did is "100% in Warren's camp."
"She has a plan and the fact is that when you have a plan, you want to fight for it," she said in support of Warren
But after watching the debate and learning more about Buttigieg, Peterson decided to go to his Mason City event and is now considering supporting him. "
" He really hit the reunion a lot, "she said." And what I really appreciated was not just about reuniting the party, but the country and I think that's a message that many people want to hear. "
Can Warren do that?
"I feel like I could," says Peterson with a pause, "but she will have to work harder to get there."
Correction: This story corrects Sanders voter turnout in The New York Times / Siena College poll.