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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his campaign denied on Wednesday that his health care stance had changed and clarified a 2018 tweet that's resurfaced in which he declared, "I do favor Medicare for All."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Why it matters: Buttigieg's campaign began running a digital ad this week calling out Democratic presidential rivals Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) by name for their Medicare for All support.

  • Buttigieg followed the commercial by going after the progressive candidates at the debate.

What they're saying: Politico, which first reported the past tweets, notes Buttigieg's aides said there's "no contradiction" between his stance then and now.

  • A campaign spokesperson told Axios, "The difference between Pete, Warren and Sanders isn't on the goal of achieving universal health care coverage through Medicare. It's on how to get there."
  • The campaign released a transcript of Buttigieg's response to a reporter in Ames, Iowa, Wednesday night in which he said his views on Medicare had not changed.

"I've laid out a plan that now explains how we're going to get there, that makes Medicare available to all and at the same time doesn't do away with private plans. I think I've been consistent through the year that we don't have to abolish private plans in order to have Medicare available to everybody. And what we've done is we've laid out a detailed plan on how to get there.

"Now, if that public plan that we're creating is superior to every alternative, well then it's going to turn into a glide path that'll bring us to Medicare for All. It's just that for me, the most important principle isn't how many people are being covered by the government, it's making sure that every single American has health care."

What he's proposing: Buttigieg's health care proposal would expand Medicare coverage and keep private health insurance plans available. He's pledged to tackle surprise billing and introduce an out-of-pocket spending cap for Medicare.

  • Other key health care policies from Buttigieg's proposal include a $300 billion plan to bolster mental health and addiction support with increased access and a proposal to reduce drug prices.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Buttigieg and his campaign.

Go deeper

McCarthy jokes about hitting Pelosi with gavel if he becomes Speaker, in new audio

Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) can be heard saying "it would be hard not to hit" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the speaker's gavel if Republicans retake the House in 2022 and he becomes speaker, according to new audio posted to Twitter by a Main Street Nashville reporter.

Driving the news: McCarthy made the comments during a fundraising event in Tennessee, as he was handed an oversized gavel by members of the Tennessee congressional delegation, reports CNN.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. and U.K. blame Iran for drone strike on oil tanker

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Photo: Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday that the United States and United Kingdom, respectively, now believe Iran was likely responsible for last week's drone strike on an oil tanker in the Arabian sea.

Why it matters: The United States and Britain now join Israel in accusing Tehran of being behind the July 29 attack off the coast of Oman. Iran has denied involvement.

9 hours ago - Sports

Suni Lee wins bronze medal in uneven bars

Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

U.S. gymnast Sunisa "Suni" Lee won her 3rd Olympic medal on Sunday, taking home bronze in the individual uneven bars event.

Driving the news: Also on Sunday, U.S. gymnast MyKayla Skinner won the silver medal in the vault on Sunday after stepping in for Simone Biles, who withdrew from the event to prioritize her mental health and well-being.