In a now-deleted series of tweets, writer Nicole Cliffe, a Slate contributor and founder of the literary humor site The Toast, said that she donated the maximum amount of $2,800 to Pete Buttigieg (even though she disagrees with his centrist politics) because he saved her from “a potential assault” by three men when she and Buttigieg attended Harvard University.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) data shows that Cliffe, who otherwise supports Elizabeth Warren, donated $2,800 to Buttigieg on March 17, 2019, and $500 to Warren on March 31, 2019. Though Cliffe explained how she and Buttigieg knew each other at Harvard, she adds that she neither plans on donating more money to Buttigieg’s campaign nor voting for him.
Explaining her donation, Cliffe wrote:
Pete saved me from a potential assault in college. When I found out he was running, I donated. I support Warren and donated to her. Pete is not my candidate.
He literally backed three men off me outside a bar. I didn’t not date during the last like nine news cycles. He’s a centrist, I am not. I wish him well.
The Boston Globe asked Cliffe for more details and she said, “He did just did it very quietly and with great ease.” She said she knew Buttigieg before the potential assault because she once dated one of his college roommates. She offered no further details.
Here are screenshots of her deleted tweet:
Most people who have responded to Cliffe have thanked her for sharing her story, expressed happiness for her safety, and tried to convince her that Buttigieg isn’t a centrist.
Buttigieg is considered less left-leaning than other Democratic candidates because he supports a public healthcare option rather than Medicare-for-all, doesn’t support free public college for all Americans, and accepts contributions from big-money donors.